Now that we’re experiencing record-breaking heat, it’s time to roll out some cool dishes to take the sizzle out of summer. Bassel Osmani, co-founder of Pita Jungle, offers a gazpacho recipe that he also serves in his restaurants.
Osmani says that it’s important to buy the best produce you can find. “Go to your favorite farmers market and get the cleanest organic produce.” He suggests using Persian cucumbers rather than large waterlogged cucumbers and get the ripest tomatoes you can find. Also, be sure to core the peppers and seed the cucumbers to avoid a bitter taste.
You can present this dish in several different ways, in a bowl as a meal, in a cup as an appetizer or in a ramekin or soup spoon as an amuse-gueule [a bite-sized appetizer],” Osmani says. “It’s perfect for a hot Arizona day with a dry white wine or rosé.”
Pita Jungle Southwest Gazpacho
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
½ cup tomato juice
1 cucumber (seeded and peeled)
1 green bell pepper (seeded and de-ribbed)
4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 small white onion
2 corn tortilla (soaked in water and softened) or a cup of soaked corn chips
1 tbsp. Spanish Jerez vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder or 1 tbsp. ancho chili paste
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 thinly sliced avocados
1 cored and seeded thinly sliced jalapeño
3 green onions thinly sliced
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Add all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.
- Adjust seasoning and acidity to taste (e.g. if the tomatoes are too sweet, adjust vinegar and or lime juice).
- Refrigerate the soup in a covered bowl.
- Cover with the toppings. Alternately, serve in individual bowls and garnish with desired toppings.