Summer garden goodness at its simple best! Layered Gazpacho Salad.
But wait! Isn’t Gazpacho supposed to be one of those weird cold soups? (Which I LOVE!) Yes, but those same ingredients can also be a quick and tasty summer salad.
My mom used to make this when the garden was overflowing with tomatoes and cucumbers. If you have a garden, or are neighbors with my friend Larry, chances are you might not even need to go to the store for this one.
Here’s what you need:
Ripe Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onion, Green Pepper (I would also add another pepper, maybe yellow or orange), Light Olive Oil*, White Wine Vinegar, Dried Basil & Oregano (not pictured, last-minute addition), Salt & Pepper.
*For most of my recipes, you see me using Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the dark green stuff. However, for this salad you really need to use a much lighter oil so the dressing doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients. You can use “salad” oil such as canola or safflower, however I like the health benefits and taste of olive oil. So I use olive oil — just make it a light one.
This recipe is incredibly easy. In fact, if you don’t have issues with tomato skins, you can even skip the first step.
Optional Step 1 – Peeling the Tomatoes. Cut a small X in the top of each tomato with a sharp knife.
I don’t remember where I learned this trick, but if you’re weird like me and feel the need to peel your tomatoes (don’t ask, it will set off a whole Florida Tomato rant…), this little X helps the tomato peel to be easily removed.
Carefully pour boiling water over the tomatoes. Don’t forget to stop halfway through and turn them over to scald the other side. (You can also dunk the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and get the same result.) Let the tomatoes hang out for 10 minutes to loosen the peel.
On to the real recipe. This is just a bit of peeling, slicing, layering and pouring.
Peel the skin from 2 cucumbers and slice them into small rounds.
Remove the skin from a red onion and slice it into very thin slices that we will pull apart to make rings.
Note: This is a huge onion, so I’m only going to use about half. Remember THIN slices.
To make rings of the bell peppers, we need to cut around the stem and remove the core and seeds.
If this freaks you out, feel free to simply cut the pepper in half, take out the seeds and cut it into strips. I like the rings on top of the salad so that’s what we’re doing today.
I only had one pepper but I would usually use 2 for this salad. Why not add another color by using a yellow or orange pepper too.
If you are going to peel your tomatoes, cut off the stem end and use your little X as a starting point to peel away the outer skin.
Slice the tomatoes. A medium thickness will do — about how you would slice them to put on a burger.
Now, layer away! If you have a glass bowl, all the better. If not, any old bowl will do.
Begin with a layer of tomatoes….
onions (pull them apart to make thin rings) and peppers….
Keep going….tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers…until you run out of veggies and fill up the bowl.
I like to end with the pretty pepper slices on top.
Time to make the dressing. We are making a very basic Vinaigrette — the fancy French word for Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing.
The key to a good dressing is all in the ratio: 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil.
I make this right in the measuring cup.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup light olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste — probably about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. * I also decided to add some dried basil and oregano to pump up the flavor a bit. About 1/2 teaspoon each will do the trick.
And whisk it all together. Voila! You have made zee Vinaigrette!
Pour it over the layered veggies.
Cover and refrigerate. This salad is MUCH better if you give it a few hours to absorb all the flavors in the fridge.
Labor Day is coming! Make this quick and easy Gazpacho Salad.
Tastes like summer to me!
Here’s the recipe.