Sunday, June 10, 2012

Strawberry Gazpacho with Pancetta

This version of gazpacho comes care of the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, with some slight modifications. The moment I came across this recipe I figured I absolutely had to try it, due to both how awesome it looked and the fact that it doesn't require your own personal brigade to pull off like some of the other recipes. Cleaning and prepping all the strawberries was time consuming, but other than that it's a simple recipe. I went a little overboard on adding hot sauce, but there's worse things in life to go overboard on. I definitely want to make this again, but substitute some of the strawberries for watermelon.

Gazpacho (serves 8)

6 cups strawberries, hulled (about 2 lbs.)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tomato, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed but left whole
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1.5 cups croutons (recipe follows)
1.5 teaspoons salt
Hot sauce, to taste

Hull the strawberries (remove the stem part) and quarter, and place in a large bowl along with the green and red diced bell pepper, diced tomato, diced cucumber, garlic, 1.5 cups bread crumbs, red wine vinegar, and salt.

Cover and let marinade at room temperature for 3-6 hours. Puree in batches in a blender on high speed until as smooth as possible. Strain and transfer to a large bowl/serving vessel. Taste and adjust for salt, and add hot sauce to taste. Refrigerate (unless you want hot-spacho) until cold.


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
5 sprigs thyme
3.5 cups hearty stale bread

Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and the garlic; when the garlic starts to sizzle, add the bread and thyme. Cook until the bread starts to color (5 to 8 minutes? I wasn’t really paying close attention to how long it took, exactly), but be careful not to burn them. Add 1.5 cups to the gazpacho mixture, and reserve 2 cups (let them cool) for serving.

Strawberry confit:

16 small strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1.5 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar.

Preheat the oven to 195°F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Hull and halve the strawberries, and toss with the olive oil. Place cut side down on the baking sheet, and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Bake for 1.5 hours. Flip the strawberries and bake for 30 minutes more. Let cool on the sheet, then store in a flat, airtight container coated with olive oil to keep the strawberries hydrated. The strawberry confit can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

To serve:

Reserved croutons
Strawberry confit
Coriander Flowers
Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil

Pour the gazpacho into chilled bowls, and throw everything else on top to make it look purdy.


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