Tuesday, July 31, 2007

White grape gazpacho

The above-mentioned soup has been on my mind since I ordered it at Botticelli's in Austin two weeks ago. A quick Google™ produced many recipes with this name, but none seemed quite right; they had scallions and cream cheese, or tomatillos and rice-wine vinegar.

Doubtless they were tasty, but they didn't sound likely to produce the result I was craving: a light, clean, sweet flavor.

And then I came across a
Chowhound recipe for minted cucumber soup with toasted walnuts. It was close enough in philosophy that I could get the basics and use my own ingredients.

My version of white grape gazpacho, then, goes like this:

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
3 cups white seedless grapes
4 oz plain nonfat yogurt
3 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted, ground
4-5 medium mint leaves
2 tbsp white wine (optional)
Baby mint leaves and almond slices for decoration

In a blender, mix cucumber and grapes together. Add half the yogurt, the mint leaves and the ground almonds; blend until smooth. Pass liquid through a sieve; discard pulp. Add remaining yogurt and wine to the liquid and blend again. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Finish with a few almond slivers and a teeny sprig of mint. Makes about two cups. Easy peasy.

I made this for last night's dinner, followed by a salade Niçoise with fresh tuna, which I was also intending to photograph for posterity. But after searing the tuna, I managed to wreck my brand-new, three-day-old Cuisinart frying pan (dumbly forgetting that the extra-thick bottom meant it retained heat longer, I set it down on a plastic cutting board and managed to unite the two for eternity). So I was just too sad ...

(I also forgot to include the snails bought specifically for the salad. I know they'd make it even more inauthentic, but they looked so, so tasty.)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your tragic pan accident. You could ask the boy to try blowtorching the base; outside. Remember wise precautions and wear gloves and safety goggles. Another option would be an acetone based product ie. nail varnish remover.

4:12 PM  
Blogger LimeyG said...

"Ask The Boy to try blowtorching the base"?? Oh dear me no.

We were once in Home Depot, looking for ways to remove paint from our (wooden) back porch. The Boy picked up a heat stripper as though it were a Red Ryder BB gun and Christmas was just around the corner.

I said, "Look me in the eye and promise me you won't burn the house down with that thing."

He couldn't.

5:25 PM  

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