Zesty Gazpacho

With the great tomato growing season we’ve had this year everyone seems to be making Gazpacho. At least the constant flood of gazpacho recipes in my feed reader leads me to believe. Most call for combining, then pureeing everything, perhaps setting aside a few choice ingredients to add some texture at the end. If you want a smooth cooling soup you can really sink your teeth into, this gazpacho recipe will really satisfy.

Ingredients:
6 Large Tomatoes
2-3 Green Onions
1 Large Cubanelle Pepper
1 Cucumber
3 Stalks Celery
3 Cloves Garlic
32 oz. Low Sodium V8 Juice
2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tsp Black Pepper

Chop all the veggies into 1/2 inch dice. Thinly slice the garlic. Combine everything in a bowl and chill for at least a few hours. This is a great make ahead recipe as the flavor will really develop if chilled overnight.

You can keep it strictly vegetarian…

…or add some meat candy 😉

Enjoy!

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Hummus with Homemade Tahini

I try to make this every couple weeks since it’s works great as a condiment, spread, or chip dip. I typically use store-bought tahini, but it seems we forgot to replenish our supply after the last batch of hummus. Finding a half cup of sesame seeds in the spice cupboard I ventured to create my own. It ended up being extremely simple, although a bit time consuming since it was made by hand. I definitely prefer the homemade version. Not as salty, with a nuttier smokier flavor. This recipe is a great since it can be used as basic recipe that you can add various herbs, spices, and sauces for variety.

Tahini
1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp. Salt
(yields ~1/2cup)

Begin by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan (cast iron works great!) over medium heat stirring occasionally to ensure they evenly toast (~10 minutes).

Once the seeds are toasted pour them into a mortar, or food processor, along with the salt.

Using the mortar and pestle, grind the seeds until most of the hulls have split.

Since the moisture content of the sesame seeds can vary add the olive oil 1 Tbsp at a time until you get a consistency similar to natural peanut butter. Don’t be concerned if there are still whole seeds. They’ll either be taken care of in the food processor or add texture.

Hummus
1 – 15oz. can Chickpeas
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Tahini
2-3 Cloves Garlic

Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/3 cup of liquid. Add chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini to food processor. Process until desired consistency, adding reserved liquid as needed.

This hummus is perfectly delicious as is, but our favorite way to serve it….

…is with some spice!

Creamy, nutty, spicy perfection!

Some other great variations:
Rosemary and Olive Oil Hummus
– Add 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary and 2 Tbsp. good flavored EVOO.

Sour Cream and Onion Hummus
– Add 1 additional Tbsp. lemon juice and 2 Tsp. onion powder.

Pizza Party Hummus
– Add 1/4 cup chopped sliced pepperoni, 1 Tsp. dried oregano, 1 Tsp. dried basil, 1/2 tsp onion power.

Enjoy!