So, about that gazpacho… I’ve made many batches of gazpacho in my life, but it seems that I need to revisit, revise, re-conceptualize the recipe every so often. The gazpacho that made me so happy 20 years ago is not the gazpacho that made me happy 5 years ago, & the gazpacho that I want now is yet another one. If you’ll bear with a bit of astrology here: lots of folks have needless anxiety about Mercury retrograde, believing that it just fucks everything up & you should basically hide under the covers until Mercury goes direct again. Not so! It’s an excellent time to do anything starting with “re-”: repair, return, remember, revise… you see where I’m going with this?

The latest, & arguably most Spanish, of my gazpachos, this is also a smaller quantity, reflecting the fact that I live with someone who is allergic to tomatoes. This is but a blender full, not the 2 blenders I used to make in my more voracious (& more social) days. I’m sure you can double, triple, do any kind of math you want with this, especially since the amounts are so loose to begin with:

dry-farmed early girls (or any excellent tomato of your choosing)

1/2 of a long, skinny Armenian cucumber (or other cuke of your choosing)

1/2 of a medium-sized red onion

a small, mild green pepper, like a bell pepper or pasilla (according to this handy grocery receipt here, mine weighed 0.13 lb.)

cilantro (I used about 1/3 of a bunch, but YBMV—your bunch may vary)

about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

about 2-3 T. sherry vinegar

salt & pepper

Fill blender almost to top with halved tomatoes. When you pile on 1/4 of a cuke & 1/4 of an onion, plus part of your pepper & a few sprigs of cilantro, it will be full. Blend to reduce volume, then add the rest of your veggies, more cilantro, salt & pepper, & about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add a shot of vinegar. Blend & taste & adjust as necessary. Chill thoroughly—this is important! I stick the whole blender jar in the fridge & then when I’m ready to eat it, I give it another blend to make sure everything is all thoroughly mixed & smooth. You can garnish it if you like, with chopped tomatoes or cilantro sprigs or what have you, but I’m liking this one bare naked right now. This minimalist presentation & the creamy texture together seem to allow more focus on the yummy flavors. (The color field is nice too!)

I also made that Niçoise salad I was talking about, but the picture didn’t come out pretty enough to show you. I used this dressing, drowned a drained can of tuna in it, then tossed the lettuce in it, & heaped that on plates waiting with steamed green beans, hardboiled egg wedges, tomato wedges, sliced steamed taters, & of course, the Niçoise olives.