Photograph by Bill Phelps Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Green Gazpacho

Starters from Issue 5 – Spring / Summer 2014 – Caravan

That whipping up a batch of this verdant, Moroccan-tinged take on the Andalusian classic is a near-effortless task makes the old Spanish refrain, de gazpacho no hay empacho (you can never have too much of a good thing), ring truer than ever.

serves 6

  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup cubed, stale, crustless French bread
  • 2 large cucumbers (about 1½ lbs total), peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped
  • cup raw almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • cup packed mint leaves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • fragrant oil*
  • thinly-sliced red, seedless grapes for garnish

  • 1

    Crumble saffron into vinegar and let stand 2 minutes. Add bread and 1 cup water and toss until softened, then add to a blender. (You may want to make the gazpacho in batches.) Add in the cucumbers, celery, lettuce, almonds, garlic, herbs, and oil. Blend until very, very smooth. Season to taste with 1 to 1½ tsp salt. Chill well. Check seasoning again when chilled. Thin gazpacho with a little water if necessary.

  • 2

    Garnish gazpacho with thin slices of grapes and a drizzle of fragrant oil.

    Fragrant Oil: Before serving, gently heat 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 1 tsp coriander seeds and ¼ tsp cumin seeds until fragrant. Strain.