Posted by: A Part of the Solution | August 6, 2010

Teeny-Weeny Self-Contained Gazpachos

Suppose you’re bringing an appetizer to a potluck. Or perhaps you’re hosting a cook-out or a pool party and want a tantalizing dish everyone can love: carb-free friends, gluten free friends, vegetarian, vegan and raw foods friends, lactose-intolerant friends, dieting friends, and even friends who will fall for anything that goes fabulously with beer or margaritas. These teeny-weeny self-contained gazpachos are just the item to serve.

Shopping well is nine tenths of the law here. If you bring home the optimal ingredients, you’ll have a hard time not turning out the perfect little nosh. With practice, it will be your go-to ‘impresses and pleases everybody’ recipe when summer time is ripe and all the veggies in this dish are at their peak. While it’s not quick, and has some moderately fussy steps, most of it can be done well ahead– including stuffing the tomatoes.

If you can’t get  ripe, largish cherry tomatoes, swap cucumber for the tomatoes as cases for this dry soup preparation. Cut English cucumbers into one inch segments, after peeling, scoop out 3/4″ inch of the seedy stuff in the middle, sprinkle lightly with salt and invert on paper towels or clean kitchen towels to drain. Cut one large tomato–Copia, Beefsteak or two Purple Cherokees into tiny dice after immersing whole in boiling water for thirty seconds so that the skin slips off–and don’t forget to get rid of the seedy goop before beginning to chop them up small!

Teeny-Weeny Self-Contained Gazpachos

1/3-1/2 English cucumber, or 1 smallish pickling cucumber, skinned and seeded

1/2 a bell pepper–any color, or 4 jalapenos

1 spring onion with greens

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp salt, plus more for draining veggies

2 tsp lime juice, or sherry vinegar for an Old World flavor

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

fresh ground black pepper

a pinch (or three, to taste) of ground cayenne pepper

2 pints of the largest, ripe cherry tomatoes you can find (extra points for fun colors like gold, orange or purple)

Chopped cilantro (optional)

With a sharp knife, cut the cucumber, the pepper and the spring onion into tiny dice (brunoise is nice, for the pros following along). Chop up the garlic, then mash the salt into it and rechop it until it becomes paste. Stir this up with the tiny veggie dice mixture. Add all the seasonings, stir and chill covered in the fridge. This will keep for several days, but it will require draining in a mesh strainer before use.

With a serrated knife, slice the tops off the cherry tomatoes. Hollow them out using a grapefruit spoon (if it’s small enough), a plastic knife with serration, or the serrated knife from your half-forgotten pumpkin carving set in the back of your kitchen drawer. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, and invert them onto paper towels, or a clean kitchen towel to drain–an hour is good here, and more won’t hurt them, but transfer them to the fridge if they’ll be hanging out for a longer time.

Line a lidded container that will fit the tomatoes in one layer with a paper towel, or a cloth napkin, to stabilize the gazpachos. Put a small spoonful of the filling into each tomato. Sprinkle them with the cilantro (if you’re using it), snap the lid on your container and head off to your party! The ooohs and aaaahs are exceedingly gratifying. And this is much less work if you can corral a friend into helping with the hollowing and stuffing.



  1. […] mobile, in mess-free pieces–like stuffed grape leaves, tartlets (sweet or savory),  or teeny-weeny gazpachos. With three savory appetizers and a couple of different sweet choices, you’re all good if […]

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