GAZPACHO WITH HERB OIL

Inside Out (Australia) - - Things We Love -

SERVES 8 as a starter PREPA­RA­TION TIME 35 min­utes (plus overnight mar­i­nat­ing & strain­ing time) COOK­ING TIME 5 min­utes

1kg very ripe toma­toes, chopped (such as Roma, beef or ox-heart) ½ fresh long red chilli, seeds re­moved, chopped 2 French shal­lots, peeled, finely chopped 1 ripe red cap­sicum, seeds re­moved, chopped 1 stick cel­ery, peeled of the stringy out­side, chopped 1 small cu­cum­ber, seeded and chopped 2 cloves of gar­lic, crushed 3 tbsp good-qual­ity sherry vine­gar, plus ex­tra, to taste 250ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, plus ex­tra, to taste 100g day-old crusty white bread, crusts re­moved

HERB OIL

1 bunch basil, leaves picked 1 bunch pars­ley, leaves picked 1 bunch chervil or oregano, leaves picked 500ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1. For the herb oil, blanch the herb leaves in a large saucepan of boil­ing wa­ter for 30 sec­onds or un­til just wilted. Im­me­di­ately re­move with a sieve and trans­fer to a bowl of iced wa­ter to re­fresh. Strain, squeez­ing out ex­cess wa­ter. Trans­fer to a blender or food pro­ces­sor. With the mo­tor run­ning, grad­u­ally add the oil. Blend un­til smooth. Place a fine sieve over a bowl and line with a clean dish­cloth or muslin. Pour in the herb oil and set aside to strain for 4-6 hours. Sea­son. Store in a glass jar in the fridge un­til re­quired. Al­low to come to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore serv­ing.

2. Mean­while, in a large bowl, com­bine the tomato, chilli, shal­lot, cap­sicum, cel­ery, cu­cum­ber, gar­lic, 1 tea­spoon of the vine­gar and 50ml of the oil. Sea­son. Cover and place in the fridge for 4-12 hours to al­low flavours to de­velop (see note). 3. Place the bread in a small bowl and cover with cold wa­ter. Soak for 5 min­utes. Squeeze out ex­cess wa­ter. 4. Trans­fer veg­etable mix to a food pro­ces­sor. Add a lit­tle re­main­ing oil. Process on low speed, grad­u­ally in­creas­ing speed and slowly adding the re­main­ing oil and vine­gar. Grad­u­ally add the bread. Process un­til smooth. Sea­son, taste and add more oil and vine­gar if de­sired. 5. Strain mix­ture through a sieve, push­ing down with the back of a large spoon, into a bowl or jug. Serve topped with the herb oil. Note: This is a recipe that re­ally ben­e­fits from be­ing pre­pared the night be­fore for the flavours to re­ally start to come alive.

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