Thursday, September 6, 2012

South of the Border Gazpacho

This last weekend, I had a little celebration at my house.  We had two reasons to be happy.

First, Mr. Wendy--who is a man of many talents--managed to basically rebuild a toilet in our guest bath that had been useless for the past year.  So, technically, it would have been great if he had done it a year ago.  But he did it this last weekend, and after the year-of-one-toilet, I couldn't be happier to have this one back in working order.

Yay, Mr. Wendy!

Our second reason to celebrate was that I typed "The End" on a manuscript and zipped it off through cyberspace to my editor.  I know I'm not actually finished with the book: I see many revisions in my future.  What's more, I have another project burning a hole in my hard drive, desperate to get done.  I'm not exactly in a lull, writing-wise, but I cleared one significant hurdle.

I celebrated in the way I usually do (crazy partier that I am):  Mr. Wendy and I got caught up on season two of Boardwalk Empire (for those who watch, those last two episodes were ... well, wow); I did a little laundry; we took a run to Home Depot to dream about new tile in the bathroom; and I cooked.

Or, in this case, I didn't cook, because this yummy gazpacho requires zero stove or oven time.  What's more it makes splendid use of the last of the summer's harvest.  (Don't worry about the uncooked corn ... the vinegar and other acids in the soup will "cook" the corn a bit, and you want it remain crisp and sweet.)

Fresh Food!

I served the soup as a first course, followed by bean tostadas, but it would be equally good as the main dish in a light supper, perhaps with a loaf of crusty bread at its side.  I highly recommend drizzling the soup with olive oil and adding a bit of chopped avocado.  They give a luscious creaminess to balance out the tart/sweet/bright/crunchy notes of this zippy soup.

South of the Border Gazpacho

2 ears of corn (uncooked)
2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 lbs)
1 English cucumber (about 3/4 lb)
1 tsp. salt (preferably Kosher)
2 Tbs. white wine or sherry vinegar
1 small bunch of green onions
1 clove garlic
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 c. cilantro leaves
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 ½ c. tomato juice

4 ice cubes

Lime wedges, olive oil, and diced avocado for garnish

Slice the kernels from the cobs of corn.  Core, seed, and dice the tomatoes.  Cut the cucumber in about a 1/4 inch dice.  Combine all the vegetables, in a non-reactive bowl, with the salt and vinegar.  Allow to stand for about 5 minutes.

Vegies Resting in Vinegar

Meanwhile, combine the onions, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice in the bowl of a minichopper, blender, or food processor.  Process until well chopped and almost past-like.

Stir the cilantro mixture into the tomato/corn/cucumber mixture.  Add the tomato juice and stir.  Add the ice cubes, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve chilled with a dash of fresh lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a bit of fresh dice avocado.


  1. congrats on sending a book off--that's a huge deal! And if you could only see the tomatoes lined up on my counter, you'd understand how happy I am to see this recipe:)

  2. Gotta love it when you find a recipe or dish that combines everything--flavors (sweet, sour, salty) and textures (smooth, crunchy). Definitely a keeper!

    Congrats on chalking up another THE END, at least for now.

  3. Thanks, Sheila and Lucy. It's always a huge relief to finish a manuscript ... and then comes the sheer terror of the blank page and starting a new one. :)

  4. YAY for Mr. Wendy. Repairing things is no my hubby's forte. I'm the fix-it girl. So what a treasure. And Yay for you for finishing your manuscript. Always a joy to type the end and press "send." Love the recipe. So fresh and pretty.

    ~Daryl aka Avery

  5. Those end-of-summer vegetables are gorgeous, Wendy. The eyes do indeed eat first and the colors in that photo are making me hungry for that delicious soup!

    ~ Cleo

  6. Cleo and Avery, maybe it's just Texas, but right now the sweet corn is amazing - plump, colorful, flavorful kernels.

  7. This is amazing, Wendy! I have to try it. Sounds so fresh and lovely!

    ~ Krista