Wednesday, June 20, 2012


As a family we try to do at least one meatless meal each week.  We actually have a few nights of the week themed to make meal planning easier: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Fun Friday, and the one night my oldest daughter gets to cook.   Last week's meatless meal was Gazpacho with homemade croutons and lemon basil aglio olio.  The Gazpacho recipe was from Ina Garten ( one of my favorites) and it was so simple. I love her recipe because there is no cooking involved at all!  No blanching, no peeling, very little chopping.  The food processor does all the work! I couldn't ask for an easier meal. I did change a few ingredients to match what I had on hand.

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped*
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 white onion (or purple) roughly chopped**
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 23 oz tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • dash cayenne pepper*
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Handful fresh basil for garnish
*Changed from original recipe.
**I  used half of an onion because a whole onion seemed overpowering.  

Roughly chop each vegetable. Put each veggie into the food processor separately and pulse it until it is coarsely chopped.  Do not over process. I did the tomatoes first, then the pepper, cucumber, and the onion last.

Combine them in a mixing bowl.  Add your garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Mix well, and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.  The longer the soup chills the better the flavor gets.  
Not the best idea to use a red bowl for this- oops.
 While the gazpacho was chilling, I made some homemade croutons to go with it.  I cut up a loaf of Italian bread, tossed the cubed pieces with garlic infused olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I baked them at 400F until they were toasted and slightly browned.
Be sure to spray your pan with a little cooking spray to prevent sticking.
 We served the gazpacho with the croutons and some fresh basil from our garden.  Paired with my Lemon Basil Aglio Olio (recipe to come soon), this was the perfect meatless summer meal.

You can also serve this as an appetizer.  I made gazpacho "shooters". for dinner with my parents and served them in small ball jars while the rest of the meal was cooking.  They were just the perfect appetizer size (and healthier than chips!)

You can kick the spice up in this by adding more cayenne, or some Tabasco.  I kept it pretty mild since the girls were eating it too.

To keep this completely gluten free, you can omit the croutons, or make them out of gluten free bread.  Or you could toast and spice some nuts- walnuts or almond slivers would work great- and use those as a garnish.

What is one of your favorite easy summer time meals?

Recipe Adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Copyright 1999


  1. This looks sooooooooooooooooo good!!!!!!!

    1. It is! And if you cut the oil it's lower in calories:-) Very satisfying too!

  2. in the summer i love to make big salads or my lemony kale pasta. deeeelish!

    1. Lemony kale pasta? Sounds delicious! Is the recipe on your blog??

  3. wow..looks utterly yumm
    new to your space
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I have checked out your site too- lots of yummy recipes to try out! :-)