As promised, another version of the famed Andalucían gazpachos. This one originates from the beautiful city of Córdoba, and is my favourite version of all. It is different in that it uses very few ingredients but can be served three ways – very thick as a dip with small breadsticks (known as Picos), medium thick garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and jamon or tuna as a chilled soup starter, or diluted with water as a refreshing drink. So…three dishes in one!
Ingredients for this are few and it will serve from 6 (as tapas) to 2 (as a soup) approximately:
- 2-3 slices of stale bread without the crust (should be a fairly dense bread rather than sliced white from the supermarket)
- About 500g of tomato, cored and peeled (I had one HUGE tomato as you can see in the photo) but usually the volume of the tomato once in the jug is a little more than the volume of the breadcrumbs
- A chunk of red pepper (optional)
- Half a clove of garlic (don´t recommend you use more or it will overpower the taste the taste of the salmorejo)
- Olive oil
Once again, the holy trinity of water, salt and vinegar appear but we´ll use very little water this time.
Dribble a very little amount of water onto the bread which you will have put into a mixing jug, and leave for a minute or two to absorb it.
Add the tomato and pepper if you are using it. The truly authentic recipe doesn´t use red pepper, but after wondering why my salmorejo never looked as red or tasted as sweet as anyone else´s, I was let into the secret of the locals round here – red pepper!
Add your garlic, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of vinegar and at least two tablespoons of olive oil and start to blend with the hand blender.
You need to get this really smooth, almost like a purée. The more oil you add, the smoother the mixture will be, although I tend to go easy on it just for the sake of my waistline! Taste every so often and adjust the salt and vinegar to your liking. Again, it should be “alegre” or lively in flavour.
When you´re done, leave to chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Traditionally it´s served in a deep earthenware bowl (to maintain the freshness) with chopped hard-boiled egg and jamon on top. Some people substitute the jamon for tinned tuna but I guess chopped bacon would also be nice.
It´s also great as a dip or sauce served with little breadsticks (like very short grissini) or croutons.