Monday, September 15, 2008

Gazpacho and grilled cheese - YUM!


6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I use 5 - that's all that fits in my food processor!)
1 purple onion, finely chopped (I use half of one onion)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
4 cups tomato juice


Combine all ingredients (I put the tomatoes through the garlic in the food processor and then mix in the liquid ingredients in a large bowl). Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.

Serves 8.

8 slices ciabatta, halved lengthwise
2T olive oil8t Basil-Almond Peso (see below)
8 slices fresh mozzarella
1/3c pimento-stuffed green olives chopped
BASIL ALMOND PESTO (this makes enough for two batches of grilled cheese, so I freeze the leftover pesto for the next time I want to make this)
1c fresh basil leaves
1/2c fresh parsley leaves1/4c olive oil
2T sliced almonds toasted
2 garlic cloves
1/4t red pepper flakes
minced zest and juice from one lemon
salt to taste
Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth (Keeps for one week chilled, one month when frozen)

Preheat grill to med-high (I use the Foreman Grill for this). Brush uncut slides of ciabatta slices with oil.Spread 1t of pesto on the cut sides of each bread slice then top with mozzarella and olives. arrange second slice of bread on top. Grill sandwiches weighted down with a baking sheet and bricks (or the lid to the Foreman Grill!) until toasted on one side, 2 minutes. Flip sandwiches over, weight down, and grill until golden and cheese melts, 2 more minutes.

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