This summer I’m experimenting with container gardening. My original plan was to have a big pot of cherry tomatoes and maybe a little basil. I planted a few plants and was happy. Then a friend of mine, who is a professional gardener, gave me 4 indeterminate tomato plants that she had leftover from work. Now every morning I’m outside watering three overflowing pots of tomatoes. (In retrospect, I should have planted the larger tomato plants in larger pots, but this was all an experiment. Next year will be even better.)
The cherry tomatoes are ripening up now while the indeterminate tomatoes are still mostly green. But there’s a magical thing about tomatoes; under ripe ones are just as edible as fully ripe ones. I was craving fried green tomatoes the other day, but the weather has been ridiculously hot. Turning on the oven was out of the question. I turned that green tomato craving toward gazpacho.
Other ingredients were picked up at the local farmer’s market. I couldn’t find any yellow or orange bell peppers, so I opted for a young green pepper. This makes for a sharper flavor (as orange and yellow peppers are much sweeter), but I’m still pleased. Also, I opted to omit the parsley. It also is an ingredient meant to counter balance the spicier flavors, but I didn’t want to buy a bundle of parsley for one recipe. I figured a slightly larger cucumber would do.
Aren't they pretty?
I made the soup early Saturday afternoon and let it refrigerate until today. It’s spicy and cool and wonderful. I’d love to have this with a side of grilled pineapple and miniature black bean burgers with a spicy mayo dipping sauce but instead I’m at work with rye crackers and a fresh grapefruit. The fancier meal will have to wait for another day.
Avocado and Green Tomato Gazpacho
- 3 medium-sized (3-inch diameter) green tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1 small (or half a medium) orange or yellow bell pepper, cored and minced
- 1 medium-sized (7-inch) cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley
- A handful of cilantro
- 1 medium-sized ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar or light-colored honey
- 1 cup cold water
- Black pepper and cayenne to taste
- Up to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (to taste)