Authentic Gazpacho with Crispy Serrano Ham

When I think of my favorite Spanish cuisine, I think of a shallow bowl of gazpacho, topped with crispy bits of Serrano ham. Oh my goodness.

Contrary to what I originally thought, the gazpacho I had in Spain wasn’t often thickened by chunks of puréed bread. Smooth and velvety, the gazpacho I loved most was simply juicy ripe tomatoes and other veggies as well as a generous helping of extra virgin olive oil for creaminess. Contrasted with a dash of sherry wine vinegar for tartness and a pinch of cayenne, this gazpacho is truly liquid heaven.

Garnished with bits of crisps Serrano ham and drizzled with olive oil, this bowl is suited for a king.

 

The Ingredients

4 slices Serrano ham (or prosciutto), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and in chunks

1 Cubanelle (or Anaheim) green pepper, in chunks

1 medium cucumber (or two small pickling cucumbers), peeled and in chunks

1 small red onion

1 clove garlic

2 1/2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

1 small handful of fresh chives

 

The Steps

In a blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, and garlic. Pulse mixture in blender on high for 1 minute. Then blend on high for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. Occasionally scrape down sides of blender with spatula.

Keep blender running and add the vinegar, salt, cayenne and olive oil. Mixture will turn bright orange or dark red, depending on the region your extra virgin olive oil is from. If the mixture seems watery, add a 1/4 cup more of olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

In a small saucepan, lightly brown ham on medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes. Continuously toss to make sure the ham doesn’t burn!

Serve in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of ham, snipped chives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tip: keeps in glass bowl (without ham) covered with plastic wrap for up to one week!

 

The Steps with Pictures

In a blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, and garlic. Pulse mixture in blender on high for 1 minute. Then blend on high for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. Occasionally scrape down sides of blender with spatula.

Keep blender running and add the vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Mixture will turn bright orange or dark red, depending on the region your extra virgin olive oil is from. If the mixture seems watery, add a 1/4 cup more of olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

In a small saucepan, lightly brown ham on medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes. Continuously toss to make sure the ham doesn’t burn!

Serve in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of ham, snipped chives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tip: keeps in glass bowl (without ham) covered with plastic wrap for up to one week!

 

 

 

 

 

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