New Gazpacho

Was looking for something new to make last weekend and had been eyeing this gazpacho recipe for awhile so finally got around to giving it a try.  It was Fresh Pea and Garlic Gazpacho from Cooking Light.  Pretty simple, as with most gazpacho.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups shelled fresh English peas*
2 1/4 cups ice water
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled English cucumber
1 cup (1/2-inch) French bread cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar**what would we do without the ability to research info at our fingertips (see * info below) — I didn’t want to get a bottle of this stuff and found several substitutes, and the one I knew I had was white vinegar (I almost used rice vinegar, though it was rice wine vinegar that was recommended)
2 garlic cloves — MORE!
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
—–
Fresh pea shoots
1 tablespoon small fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

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Prep:

1)  Cook English peas in boiling water 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Set aside 1/2 cup peas. *I did some research on English peas while in the store(oh, smart phones, how we love you).  Long story short, I deduced that they are the same as frozen green peas.  Efficiency! You can eliminate this whole step.

2)  Combine remaining peas, ice water, cucumber, French bread cubes, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and garlic cloves in a blender; process until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper.

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3)  Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls. Garnish with reserved peas, fresh pea shoots, mint leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.
I opted out of the garnishing for a few reasons — there was no mint at the store, I didn’t use the fresh peas, hence has no shoots and finally, I was eating alone so who did I have to impress with decor?  I just put my own good stuff in the gazpacho — tomatoes, olives, manchego and grilled chicken.  Very nice, refreshing soup.  It did seem to be missing something and I still can’t place it.  Might be lemon or a bit more salt.  But, still a nice twist from the normal gazpacho.

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From Green Peas to Red Wine

I am the type of kitchen person who does not like to waste anything/throw it away. I won’t keep and keep, then keep and keep things forever in an attempt to use them, past their pull dates or until they’ve grown various levels of fuzz, etc. just to attempt to use them — that would qualify me for Hoarders (SO not going there) — but aim to make the most of my money.

So, from Supper Club on Sunday, I had leftover fresh mint.  As I’m typing this, I realize I could have saved cooking and just made Mojitos, darn…next time.  Anyway, one of my favorite quick, and beyond simple, recipes that I found years ago to use mint in is Mint Bruschetta.  What do you need?

IMG_1059 -Food Processor
-Frozen Peas (thawed — I defrost them quickly in the microwave)
-Fresh Mint leaves
-A bit of olive oil — maybe 1-3 tsp
-Sometimes, to taste, I add garlic and lemon juice

 

Just throw all of it in the food processor and blend to desired  consistency.  Season to taste.  How much easier could it get???

 

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End result? Green mush, right?  But GOOD green mush.

 

 

 

IMG_1067Then, after making this delicious mush, had to enjoy some wine.  Went to my wine rack and found a bottle.  I saw my scribble of $8 on the back of the bottle.  That works.  OH MY GOD, what am I drinking?  Smokey, deep, heavenly bliss.  Do peas merit this, does this merit peas?  Well, the only thing that matters is that I deserve both.  What am I enjoying?  Calina Carménère.  For only eight bucks, AMAZING.  Check it out!