Oh, it’s June, the time of year where we hustle to finish those springtime chores. Clean out the bilges, perhaps one last coat of varnish before the short summer showers arrive. At least in South Florida, it’ll be eight more months until we see weather like this again.
As summer heats up, one of my favorite meals is a cool serving of gazpacho. This recipe is sure to please the crew and owner as well.
5 large, firm tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cup tomato juice
4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, minced
1/2 red onion, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 lemons, juiced
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Bring to a boil 6 quarts of water. With a paring knife, cut an “X” on the bottom of the tomatoes and drop in the boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove and place in an ice water bath to cool for 1 minute. Remove from the bath, pat dry and, with the paring knife, peel the skin and discard.
Quarter the tomatoes, remove the core and seeds, and chop coarsely. (I like to place a sieve over a bowl while de-seeding to extract the natural juice, usually about 1/2 cup.) Add 1 1/2 cups tomato juice to the bowl.
Add remaining vegetables, lemon juice, Worcestershire, spices and finally the EVOO. Mix well.
Remove a third of the vegetables/juice and puree in a blender for 10 seconds. Return to the bowl and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Serve chilled with a cucumber spear, garlic croutons, fresh basil chiffonade (a fancy way of way of thinly slicing fresh basil) or cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
THE CREW’S MESS
Capt. John Wampler
Capt. John Wampler has worked on yachts big and small for more than 25 years. He’s created a repertoire of quick, tasty meals for crew to prepare for themselves to give the chef a break. Contact him through www.yachtaide.com. Comments on this column are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.