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Recipe: Fermented Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a “liquid salad” that combines the thirst-quenching virtues of a cold drink with the nourishment of a salad. Probably originating in Andalusia, Spain, it is a chilled, tomato-based raw vegetable soup with ancient roots. Many gazpacho recipes include stale bread or watermelon; this recipe is an adaptation that is fermented with salt and whey.

Gazpacho is a perfect way to make a nourishing meal and still keep your kitchen cool in the summer months, and is a great use for the many vine-ripened tomatoes that may be coming out of your garden or farmers’ market. It is quick and easy to assemble ahead of time in quantities suitable for a crowd. To make it a complete meal, serve it topped with chopped hard-boiled egg and ham.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 peppers, diced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, parsley, or chives, minced
  • 24-ounces vegetable juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of one lime (optional)
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of chipotle powder (optional)
  • Whey reserved from cultured dairy projects
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix vegetables, liquids (except whey), and seasonings (except salt) together in a large bowl. For a smoother gazpacho, puree part or all of the mixture in the food processor.
  2. Place the gazpacho mixture in quart jars and add 4 Tbsp. whey and 1 Tbsp. salt to each quart.
  3. Allow mixture to sit for 2 days at room temperature, then transfer to cold storage.

At A Glance

YIELD: Serves 4 to 6