When it gets this hot, all I can think about is ingesting foods that make my body temperature plummet. Chopped salads, smoothies (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches and plums made with yogurt or ice cream or just ice cubes and juice) served in frosty parfait glasses and gazpachos. Our produce stalls are bursting with gazpacho goodness right now. There’s classic tomato, of course, though a yellow tomato gazpacho always makes an impression.
I found this recipe for a cucumber and spinach gazpacho that is as righteous as it is delicious and oh, soooo cooling! (cucumbers are packed with water to keep you hydrated!) I found it in Fit Pregnancy magazine – so you know it’s good for you. You should be able to find all of the ingredients at the market on Saturday – save for the pita bread and chicken stock.
2 8-inch whole-wheat pita breads
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices French white bread, crusts removed
1 garlic clove
3 ⁄4 cup low-sodium chicken stock, plus additional stock to taste
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, plus more to taste
2 pounds Persian cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1⁄2 cup diced mild onion, such as Vidalia
kosher salt, to taste
1. To make pita toasts, set a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lightly brush both sides of one pita bread with 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil. Toast bread in skillet 3 to 4 minutes each side, until crisp. Break into pieces with your hands. Set aside.
2. To make the soup, soak French bread in water for 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze water from bread and place the slices in a blender with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic. Add some of the chicken broth and buttermilk and blend to make a paste. add half of the cucumber, half the spinach, half the basil and half of the onion and blend again. Stop blender and using a wooden spoon, push ingredients down. Blend again. Continue adding the ingredients until all have been incorporated. add salt, additional broth or buttermilk to taste.
Chill for 1 hour and up to 24 hours before serving.
3. To serve, divide soup into 4 chilled bowls, garnish with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil and serve with rustic pita toasts alongside.
Coach Farms will be back NEXT WEEK. Sorry for the inconvenience but they’ve been having some staffing issues.
In the meanwhile, try Joe’s amazing mozarella – always made fresh day of market.
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director