CSA Week Four: Beet Gazpacho

July 19, 2012 § 10 Comments

The haul:
more beets (eep!)
arugula
red lettuce
blueberries
new potatoes
cucumbers
yellow squash
peaches!
corn!

I’m so excited that every week there is more and more variety in my CSA box. Not that the bunnies have any complaints about getting lots of greens, but I had a feeling that things would get more diverse as the summer got into full swing and they definitely have. There’s only one problem: my refrigerator is too full of beets to put any more veggies in. It’s true, I confess it: I have not been able to keep up with the beets. I’ve pickled them, and borschted them, and grated them for salad. But since I’m the only beet eater (beeter?) in the house, I just wasn’t eating them fast enough.

However! I believe I have a solution to my problem! As usual, Mother Nature was pretty smart, and she decreed that beets and cucumbers would be available to me at about the same time. And that that same time would coincide with a heat wave in New England that would make me very reluctant to turn on any heat-producing devices such as stoves, and would make me crave tangy sour refreshing things (like epic pickles… stay tuned). Oh yeah, and I was hungry NOW.

Beets
+ Cucumbers
+ Cold
+ Tangy
+ Now
——————
Beet Gazpacho
It’s simple math, really. Makes about 4-6 servings.

  • two large beets, any color, scrubbed but not cooked or peeled
  • a similar quantity of cucumber, three small-medium in my case
  • about 1 cup of leftover bread, stale or lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your spice tolerance
  • salt and pepper
  • water (ice cold if you’re thinking ahead)

Chop the vegetables into big chunks. Throw everything in your blender, adding a little less water than you think you’ll need because you can always add more later. Blend until completely pureed. Taste and adjust: everyone has their own Perfect Gazpacho Ratio (PGR) of oil and vinegar, and mine is about here.

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Optional garnishes: finely chopped cucumber, grated beets, yogurt, croutons, parsley, hard boiled egg

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Always better to let soups sit and blend (and chill in this case) but this was pretty darn good straight out of the blender. I love the earthy sweetness you can bring out of beets, but sometimes it’s fun to take them in the other direction and let them be a fresh summery vegetable like in this recipe. Enjoy!

Any other ideas for using up lots of beets? What is your Perfect Gazpacho Ratio?

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