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Patricia’s Gazpacho With Picos

April 2016

Gazpacho Al Estilo De Patricia Con Picos

Serves 4

For the gazpacho
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 10 plum tomatoes)
8 ounces cucumber (about 1 cucumber)
3 ounces green pepper (about ½ bell pepper)
1 tablespoon José Andrés Reserva Sherry Vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled
¾ cup José Andrés Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

For the garnish
1 box (6.35 ounces) José Andrés Picos Camperos
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
3 tablespoons José Andrés Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon José Andrés Reserva Sherry Vinegar
Sea salt to taste
4 chives, cut into 1-inch long pieces
12 cherry tomatoes
8 plum tomatoes, with the seeds prepared as “fillets” (see below)

Cut out and discard the core at the top of the tomatoes, and chop the tomatoes roughly into quarters. Place in the blender.

Peel and roughly dice the cucumber. Add to the tomatoes in the blender. Cut the pepper in half, and remove the core along with the seeds. Again, roughly dice and place in the blender.

Add the garlic and sherry vinegar to the blender and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. At this point the mixture will begin to turn pink. Taste for acidity. Add a little more vinegar if needed until it is well-balanced. Add the olive oil and season with salt to taste. Re-blend, then strain the gazpacho into a pitcher. Cool in the fridge for at least half an hour.

While the gazpacho is chilling, begin to prepare the other parts of the dish.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath in a medium bowl. Submerge the cherry tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch for 10 seconds. Remove the tomatoes immediately and immerse the tomatoes in the ice water to halt the cooking process. Remove the skins and cut in half. Discard the water.

For the “fillets”
Take a sharp knife and slice off the tops and bottoms of each of the larger, ripe tomatoes. Locate the fleshy dividing wall of one segment inside the tomato. Slice into the dividing wall and open up the flesh of the tomato to expose the seeds. Remove the seeds and their purée by slicing through the tomato through the core. Set aside the seeds. Your aim is to keep the purée of the seeds together to create tomato-seed “fillets” that are separate from the firmer tomato flesh. Repeat with each segment of the tomato.

To serve, place in each bowl: 8 picos, 2 “fillets” of tomato seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves and 3 cucumber cubes, drizzle bowls with olive oil and vinegar and drizzle a little more around the bowl. Sprinkle sea salt and chives across the bowl. Once the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled, pour into the bowls filled with the garnish.