Just three of my dad's phases have stuck. eBay (pretty sure I went to college on that hobby), playing the upright double bass (he is currently in 3 bluegrass bands), and last but certainly not least, tomato planting. By the way, that eBay hobby was so intense that I could probably add packing things into boxes as another hobby. But truth be told, most of the phases listed above revolve around cooking and I absolutely cannot complain.
I'm laughing as I write this right now because I didn't even touch upon the fact that in my basement lies a 6x6 glass terrarium housing Gwen, his new pet chameleon.
As a child I would watch my dad cut up raw tomatoes and eat them in utter disgust. A raw tomato was the ONLY food I detested as a child. In my head, I thought this photo contained a large bowl of tomatoes but just pretend it does. Look at those two early nineties studs.
My uncommon love for acidic and "vinegary" food trumps everything and it became obvious as my father doused his fresh cut tomatoes in red wine vinegar, salt, and olive oil, that this may be something up my alley. As I had my first bite, a couple years ago, I wasn't 100% sold. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I didn't crave it. Now, about four years later, raw tomatoes have become my mantra. What a culinary necessity. I am my Father's daughter. It didn't take long for me to realize we have the exact same taste. Savory, not sweet, Mediterranean flavors, salty, fresh. The best diet if I say so.
My favorite tastes could not be encapsulated more in dish other than Gazpacho. It's basically fresh salsa, which I've always been dying to eat by the spoonful cold. Why is that frowned upon? It also includes a boat load of vegetables which is ok in my boat because who doesn't want to be healthy? Can Gazpacho be a year round thing? I love it so much. Is there a place where it is? Southern Spain? Someone help my uneducated soul!
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber diced
1 green pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 yellow squash diced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 handful (1/4 cup) of fresh basil
1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
To make gazpacho combine all ingredients but salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar, into a food processor. Run on low until you have reached your desired consistency. Stir in worcestershire Sauce, vinegar and salt and pepper until you have reached the desired taste. Garnish with desired toppings.
To make shrimp combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and toss to coat shrimp evenly. Preheat griddle or grill to medium high heat. Grill shrimp for two minute son each side until shrimp are opaque and pink.