Gazpacho to the rescue when it's too hot to cook or even eat
When it's too hot to eat, and you crave something cold and flavorful, you can't go wrong with a nice cup of gazpacho.
This Spanish favorite is traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers blended with spices and olive oil.
It's all a matter of preference, and there are endless gazpacho recipes out there -- using everything from watermelon to almonds and grapes.
This recipe calls for tomatillos rather than tomatoes and grilling the vegetables before blending them.
If you haven't used them before, Tomatillos are a distant cousin to tomatoes, but they have a nice lemony bright flavor that is a perfect backdrop for a mildly spicy gazpacho.
They have thin, papery skin that needs to be removed before you grill them. Once you do that, they feel a bit sticky to the touch. No worries, though. They are supposed to feel that way.
Grilling the vegetables gives them a nice smoky taste, and it's something you can do ahead of time. This recipe also calls for a little bit of jalapeño, which you can easily adjust depending on your heat tolerance. Plus, the addition of Greek yogurt tames the dish down.
Be sure to have fun with the garnish! I added grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and microgreens to the top of mine, which added a nice crunch and flavor.
It also turned the dish into a meal -- perfect for a hot summer night.
Roasted Tomatillo and Cucumber Gazpacho
8 medium tomatillos
¼ white onion
2 garlic cloves
¼ to ½ jalapeño pepper (depending on your tolerance for heat)
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
½ English cucumber, chopped
½ cup packed cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon honey
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kernels from 1 ear of grilled corn
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Fresh herbs or microgreens
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño with olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil with a bit of olive oil. Place all the vegetables directly on the grill. Grill until the vegetables are soft and a bit charred. Remove from the grill and unwrap the garlic. Chill the vegetables for a few hours.
Combine all the ingredients -- chilled vegetables, olive oil, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, salt, honey and yogurt in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Top with a variety of garnishes.