it’s been hot. very hot. when it’s hot i crave gazpacho from Le Pain Quotidien  (pictured above).  i owe this great this great discovery to my good friend amie who always knows where to find delicious gourmet foods. in a moment of synchrony a few years ago, we ran into each other at farmer’s market in santa monica.  i was walking around with my mother-in-law pauline and amie wanted to grab some lunch, so we tagged along. as always, she had the perfect suggestion for the moment. this is when i met the gazpacho i have grown to love so much. the reasons for the love are plentiful. something about the smooth texture of the purée with all the flavor notes just sings. the mango also sweetens the bowl and cuts some of the garlic and tomato acidity. the cucumber is delightful. the avocado, if you choose to add it is a great final touch. it’s also served with two types of rustic bread and butter. this cold soup paired with a mint iced tea on a hot day is difficult to top. it’s always consistently good. i personally can’t afford gazpacho everyday in the summer. peter and i went on a mission to recreate it as best we could this last weekend. we looked up some recipes but they were all chunky and had weird additions. we wanted it to be super fresh. we had some non-negotiable elements we wanted to make sure to include in the recipe. the soup  texture was very important. no onions because peter hates them. i wanted to make sure that we had mango and cucumber sliced into the purée for texture variation. i think we knocked it out of the park. it was so delicious. if you  have leftovers, it’s even better the next day. it seems that many people on the internet are searching for how to make this. hope this helps!

this is what we came up with. it’s a blend of a few random recipes on the internet and whatever we could remember  from the Le Pain Quotidien. for us, the most important part was the two different textures. smooth soup with some  sliced cucumber, mango slices, radish slices, and avocado  slices. nothing about this recipe is static! feel free to play around with it! it’s an easy one to riff on. it’s really healthy too. enjoy!

 

Gazpacho 

makes about 5 small-medium bowls

Ingredients:

10 on the vine tomatoes

2 japanese cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber

1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper

1 large jalapeño

1 mango

2 large cloves garlic

2 large radishes

1 lemon

1 handful of flat leaf italian parsley

1 handful of cilantro

1 handful of basil

*1 avocado

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp white grape balsamic vinegar or substitute with red wine vinegar

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

Dice and salt the tomatoes. Drain and reserve liquid.

In a food processor, finely dice/mix (almost purée) 1 cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeño, 1 radish, ½ a mango, parsley, cilantro, basil, garlic and  tomatoes.

You’re going to blend this mixture next.  I just find it easier to blend if it’s all been diced.

In a blender add the the ingredients you just diced, oil, vinegar, and  the juice of half a lemon. Puree.

Add the reserved liquid from the tomatoes as needed to reach the desired consistency. You may want to transfer to a large bowl and use a hand blender at this point.

Julienne the remaining cucumber (cut ½ inch in length), slice or dice the remaining mango and thinly slice the second radish. Add to soup and chill in fridge.  It’s ready to serve when it’s nice and cold.

*Optional: Add sliced avocado before serving.

Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a lemon wedge.  Serve with crusty gourmet bread.

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rediscovery

July 20, 2011

moving has been great for peter and myself. we’ve gotten out of the house more, recommitted to our creative paths, taken on new challenges, reconnected with friends, and really found a space to breathe. our old apartment was so small and our furniture so big that it just weighed us down.  there was no room to do anything, especially for people with as many hobbies as hipsters have clever t-shirts. it just felt like our creative and social animals were dying!

this summer has been pretty lovely so far. we’ve been out and about!

there are some simple pleasures in los angeles! often, longtime residents like myself become jaded by the plasticity of the energy that seeps out of every crevice of this city. it’s hard to find substance in a city that asks you to wear a mask all the time and where everyone wants to put on a mask.  we forget that we have a beautiful coastline and mountains nestled into that coastline. we have amazing music venues like the hollywood bowl and little neighborhoods that offer you something outside of your hood. there are so many great restaurants and gastropubs popping up that are serving fun food for decent prices.  our farmers markets are awesome and the bbq weather has been perfect! every weekend there is some sort of festival promoting food, art, music, craft, or all the above.  when i transferred some photos to my computer this morning i was looking at all these great moments.

our culture has trained us to move on. i just did all these activities recently, and already the pace of the city has made me forget the moments. i guess the lesson always lies in gratitude and remembering that creative and positive moments are sleeping all around us, we just have awaken and feed those moments!

go out and rediscover your city or just try to appreciate it! not everything is plastic here. most things but everything!

 

summer days phase 1:

hollywood bowl

 

bbqing at our friend chaz’s house

    

renegade craft fair (los angeles historical park)

playa del rey (my old stomping grounds)

the tripel (awesome post beach beers in playa del rey)

free subway rides (personally i loved carmeggedon!)

chinatown

olvera street

union station

staring out my new window

so excited for phase 2 because it involves camping in big sur!

raw zucchini pasta

July 20, 2011

this is a lovely light summer meal that i stole from Whole Living magazine. it’s a recipe for raw zucchini pasta. this recipe serves two. it was really good and fresh! it’s great if you’re in need of a detox or need a break from cooking in the kitchen during this heat!  the best part is that it’s really simple and you can riff on it however you’d like.  it should please your vegetarian and vegan friends alike, just don’t serve with cheesy garlic bread like we did. yes, i realize the cheesy garlic bread counters all the healthiness of the raw pasta but i live for hypocrisy!

This is the recipe from Whole Living magazine:

serves 2

ingredients:

8 oz cherry tomatoes ( we used the heirloom cherry tomatoes from trader joe’s)

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced ( i went light on this because we get crazy garlic dreams if we eat too much!)

¼ cup chopped walnuts

2 tbsp torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling ( we may of used walnut oil or a combo of both)

1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into ¼-inch-long strips

sea salt (we used trader joe’s pink himalayan Sea Salt in the grinder)

directions:

in a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil, and oil. season with salt. let stand 20 minutes. toss with zucchini and garnish with basil.

voila. so easy and fast!