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Gazpacho is in
I eat myself stupid on gazpacho every summer, sometimes a quart or more in a day, until by late September the smell makes me absolutely queasy.
But, according to the photos on my phone, I was already knee deep in the stuff by July 4th weekend last year.
This year, a full month late, the tomatoes in my garden are just starting to turn red.
This recipe from NYT Cooking is my guide, but as the summer winds down and tomatoes get super ripe and dank, I halve the amount of tomato and double the amount of cucumber, to keep it light and fresh, not gloppy. With less tomato it doesn’t stay as emulsified, so I store it in a 32oz juice bottle with a tight fitting top and give it a good shake before pouring.
José Andrés says somewhere in this video that for gazpacho you should use the best olive oil you can find. You can get great olive oil at Mac Market, made by Durant just up the hill, and also Italian stuff imported by the olive oil czar of Portland. I don’t know of anyone making sherry-style vinegar in Oregon, but I continue to search.
Finally, straining transforms gazpacho into heavenly nectar — don’t skip that step!
Fennel salad & sourdough
Recently I discovered that dill greens and fennel greens both make great salad. When young and fresh they have a mild flavor and an outstanding crunchy-but-delicate texture. Just wash, chop, toss, eat. Here, with a olive oil and punchy little wild plums:
Tied together with sourdough from Punk Rock Bread. Listen: locally grown glyphosate-free heirloom grains milled right before use means you should seriously try some ASAP. Outstandingly delicious. Send ‘em a DM on Instagram to place an order, or reply to me here and I’ll connect you.
Also in season
Baird Family Orchards had two varieties of peaches at the farmers market. They’re available for only a couple weeks, so don’t wait. I might make a clafoutis.
I also spotted the first figs of the year. I love them just slightly underripe, not mushy, so I’ll eat all I can right away. And check out this recipe for fig leaf gin!
August 5th and 6th, Mama Kim’s making homestyle Korean food at Mac Market.
I really like this recipe from Alton Brown, which involves blanching the mint, blending with sugar syrup, and straining the result.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’re inspired to buy local produce and eat something good!