Chill Out, Spanish Style: Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, Toasted Almond Breadcrumbs, Tuna Salad Stuffed Piquillos or Plum Tomatoes
Cool off tonight with spicy soup and tuna-stuffed tomatoes or piquillo peppers.
For the gazpacho:
- 8 ripe yellow tomatoes
- 2 1/2-inch-thick slices stale white or peasant bread, crusts trimmed
- 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
- 1 small red onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and chopped
- A small handful of fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
- Freshly ground pepper
For the breadcrumbs:
- 3 cups torn stale white or peasant bread
- A couple handfuls of salted oil-roasted Marcona almonds
For the stuffed piquillos or tomatoes:
- 2 tins or jars good-quality sustainable tuna (6-7 ounces each tin)
- 1 cup large Spanish olives with pimintos, chopped
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 2-3 ribs celery from the heart, chopped with leafy tops
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 12 piquillo peppers, drained, or 8 small plum tomatoes, hollowed out, or a combination of peppers and tomatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
For the gazpacho: Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato, then drop into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to cool for 30 seconds, then peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.
Place half the tomatoes, bread, celery, garlic, onion, chile pepper, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice and EVOO in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, adding a splash of bottled water if needed to thin the soup. Pour the soup into a pitcher and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the seasoning and store in the refrigerator.
For the breadcrumbs: Spread the torn bread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden. Let cool, then put the bread in a food processor with the almonds. Process until crumbs form.
For the stuffed piquillos or tomatoes: Drain and flake the tuna, then combine with the olives, parsley, celery, onions, lemon juice and EVOO. Season with pepper and add more EVOO to taste.
Stuff the piquillos and/or tomatoes with the tuna salad. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls and serve topped with the breadcrumbs.
Cook’s Note: If you are not serving immediately, store the tuna salad and the gazpacho, covered, in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Store the breadcrumbs in an airtight container at room temperature.