Those of you who read Ximena's blog, Lobstersquad (and you all should, because it's brilliant!), already know that 1) she's the talented illustrator behind my new banner, 2) she has some great tips for cooking sausages, 3) she's holidaying in Estonia at the moment, and 4) she knows her gazpacho. So much so that earlier this summer she gave her dear readers an all-encompassing in-depth virtual flash-course in gazpacho-making, introducing us to the do's and dont's (Gazpacho 101), the basic recipe (Gazpacho 101.2), variations on the latter and allowed garnishes (Gazpacho 101.3), and last, but not least, a recipe for El gazpacho de Escolástica, or the best gazpacho in the world (Gazpacho 101.4).
Last weekend, after a day of forageing the forest for wild mushrooms and forest berries, we stocked up on tomatoes in one of the local supermarkets. I'm extremely relieved to note that Ximena totally approved of the tomatoes available, as I was a bit worried she'd declare them incomparable to the Spanish ones and utterly unsuitable for gazpacho-making. She then whipped up a large batch of El gazpacho de Escolástica to feed six hungry diners. Her brilliant gazpacho was served as the starter that night, followed by three types of fried wild mushrooms picked earlier during the day (gypsy mushrooms, various ceps, yellow chantarelles) and a dessert of Finnish bread cheese in a creamy rum sauce and served with fresh cloudberries.
Anyway, back to the gazpacho..
I must say that I haven't had much gazpacho in my life. I've only been to Spain once, in 2004, and spent most of the time either catching or recovering from sunstroke (stroke) heatstroke. But even with my limited gazpacho experience I can say that Ximena's gazpacho was indeed outstanding - smooth and silky, excellent-tasting, beautifully coloured, so simple, yet so sophisticated. And J., Ximena's darling husband, agrees, and claims this gazpacho is as good as his mother's - which, as we all know, is the ultimate compliment from any Mediterranean man ...
So head over to Ximena's blog for that gazpacho recipe. I'll be stocking up on tomatoes later this week, hoping that I manage to convince Ximena to whip up yet another batch of it coming weekend..