Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

1/2 cup red onion, 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup zucchini, 1/2 inch clices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
2 cups tomato, peeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups tomato juice or V8 juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper totaste
chicken stock, as needed
corn tortillas, julienned, fried, as needed
green onions, sliced on the bias, as needed

  1. Brush the onion and zucchini slices with olive oil and cook on a preheated grill until tender. Watch the vegetables carefully to prevent burning.
  2. Place the grilled onion and zucchini and the roasted pepper into a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree. Do not overprocess, as the vegetables will become too thin and lose their natural juices and flavor.
  3. Mix the tomato, cucumber, and garlic with the processed vegetables in a stainless steel bowl.
  4. Add the bread crumbs, vinegar, tomato or V8 juice, cilantro, and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Chill thoroughly. Correct consistency with chicken stock or juice.
  5. Carefully ladle the gazpacho into well-chilled soup cups or plates. Garnish each portion by placing a small pile of fried tortilla strips on the surface of the soup. Sprinkle the sliced green onions on top of the tortilla strips.

Chef: Recipe calls for too many bread crumbs (I adjusted above, original was 1/2 cup). Zest is nice, light, lemon flavor, consistent cuts in vegetables and overall well balanced mix of flavors.

Personal/Team: It did not have an appetizing color or texture, but overall tasted good. I think with brighter red tomatoes, this would have made a difference.

Lessons Learned: A gazpacho should have tomato, cucumber and pepper flavors and the bread crumbs add texture, if you use too many bread crumbs, it can be thinned with liquid from cucumbers, tomato juice or stock. If you don't have ripe red tomatoes because of the season, finish with tomato juice at end to get that color.