Serves 4

1 ½ lbs. very ripe vine tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, quartered if large, divided
3 medium persian cucumber, 2 peeled, roughly chopped. 1 quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise into ¼ inch pieces, divided
1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
½ head young garlic bulb or 1 small garlic cloves, finely grated
Sourdough or country-style bread, sliced, divided
Kosher salt
2 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus more
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more
¼ tsp. Smoked paprika
Chives and flakey sea salt for garnish

Combine tomatoes, ¾ of the cherry tomatoes, 2 chopped cucumbers, shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using an immersion blender, purée mixture until very smooth. (Alternatively, you can also use a regular blender, add contents to blender and purée).

Take one slice of bread (about 4”) and soak in water until soggy, then squeeze all the excess water out of bread and add it to tomato mixture. Continue to blend mixture until bread is fully incorporated and completely smooth. Let mixture chill at least one hour (up to overnight) to let flavors meld.

Heat oven to broil. While the oven heats, add 2 tbsp. vinegar, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and smoked paprika to gazpacho mixture and blend. Season with salt to taste and adjust seasoning with olive oil and vinegar blending until everything is incorporated and very smooth.

Brush bread with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly season with salt. Toast until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. (Alternatively, grill it up!).

To serve, ladle gazpacho into a bowl, top with olive oil, reserved cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, chives and flakey sea salt. Serve with toasted bread.

Castelvetrano Olive and Walnut Pesto

Castelvetrano Olive and Walnut Pesto

You could just as easily throw the all the contents into the food processor to make this a puréed pesto. I do it in batches because I like having a more control over the size of each component. It’s a little more work but the end result is a more textured pesto that holds up to pasta, fish or chicken.

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