Enjoying the last days of summer & my roasted tomato Gazpacho

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The nights have got quite cool, but we’ve a had a few warm days, so a barbecue called for roasting vegetables while grilling my supper in preparation for what could be possibly be the only Gazpacho I will make this season. Gazpacho is what you make when tomatoes are in full season and the days are still hot and you really don’t want to spend time in the kitchen making it any hotter than it already is. I can’t say we had one of those famous heat waves this summer… Oh well, I still want my gaspacho! I like to roast the tomatoes and peppers (in a dish) on the top shelf of my barbecue, closing the lid when I’m done, leaving the tomatoes inside and allowing the smokiness to really sink into their flesh. You don’t have to make the gaspacho that same day, the tomatoes and peppers will keep for a couple of days and you want to soak the bread in all that glorious cook juice, so if you have some tomatoes handy and you’re firing up the barbecue, place them in a dish (that can withstand the flames) and roast them while you grill your meal. You can also easily make this gaspacho without roasting the tomatoes, I just like the smokiness you get when roasting your tomatoes. So, go out there and enjoy the last of the summer!

Recipe

3-4 medium size tomatoes, roasted

1 red pepper, roasted

1 cucumber, seeds removed and cubed

1-2 garlic cloves

1 large slice of country bread, crust removed and cubed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup fruity olive oil

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Soak bread in bottom of bowl topped with roasted tomatoes and pepper overnight (you can also soak bread in water for 10-15 minutes, drain without squeezing) place in bowl of food processor. Peel and remove stem and seeds from pepper and add with remaining ingredients in the bowl with bread. Process until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and parsley, serve with a slice of fried country bread. Makes 2-3 portions, keeps in the fridge for 1 week and can be frozen up to a month. Enjoy!

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Strawberries at last! Strawberry panzanella, inspired by eat in my kitchen

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Walking through the market, looking for some supper inspiration after a long day, my eyes fell upon the first of the strawberries. My heart skipped. I think I started missing fresh strawberries from the moment they went out of season last summer! I was feeling too lazy to bake a pie and I can’t say strawberries inspire a proper supper. Then I remembered the last eat in my kitchen post, which was a strawberry-berry panzanella salad. I’d never made panzanella and as usual, love a challenge discovering new recipes. So, without following Meike Peters recipe, I imagined what my salad could look like. I have arugula growing, I could stop by the cheese chop and buy some mozzarella di buffala, grill my sourdough bread cut up into croutons and top it with a balsamic reduction. And by George, it was lovely! A light summer supper for a hot summer evening, bursting with berry flavour 🙂 I am one happy camper!!!

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RECIPE

1 small pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 small bunch arugula, roughly chopped in halves

1/2 muzzarella di buffala

Balsamic reduction

4-5 leaves, thinly sliced + more to garnish

2 cups cubed stale bread, lightly oiled, salted and grilled

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the balsamic reduction, place 1 cup balsamic vinegar in small saucepan and simmer on low heat until reduced to a thick syrup. Place lettuce and strawberries in bowl with sliced basil and mix. Top with slices of mozzarella and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Top with basil to garnish and serve. Serves one. Enjoy!

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