I love gazpacho, especially when it’s as hot as it is right now. This recipe is from “Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long.” There’s the gazpacho and then there’s a sherbet. You can make one or the other, or both – but it’s a very impressive combination if you can make the time to do the sherbet. Gazpacho goes together in minutes.
3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped 2 red bell peppers stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped 3 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper Basil sprigs for garnish Tomato Sherbet (recipe follows) for garnish: 3 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded tomatoes 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the tomatoes Freshly ground white pepper 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1 teaspoon sugar Pinch of cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1⁄2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers in the bowl of a food processor and add the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Process until just blended and still slightly chunky. Pour into a large bowl or soup tureen and stir in the garlic, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 but not more than 8 hours.
Put the tomatoes in a heavy- bottomed saucepan and season them with a healthy pinch of salt and a few lashings of white pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or the bowl of a food processor and puree. Place 2 1⁄2 cups of the puree in a medium bowl and chill in the freezer until ice-cold but not frozen. Return to the blender or food processor and add the remaining puree, the mayonnaise, cream, remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the cayenne, lemon juice, and Worcester- shire sauce and blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
NOTE: You may need to finish the sherbet off in the freezer for an hour or so, or until the mixture is hard enough to make a solid scoop.
When ready to serve, pour the gazpacho into six bowls and top with a scoop of tomato sherbet and a basil sprig.