While it may be inadvisable to wear white after Labor Day, this pale, creamy gazpacho from foodandwine.com made with cauliflower is highly recommended (at least by me) all through the year. I substituted walnuts that I already had on hand for the suggested pine nuts and almonds to great effect, I thought. I would recommend (here I go again) that after blending all the ingredients together, to push the solids with the back of a wooden spoon through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and refrigerate the thinned soup then. Try it with toasty bread in the cooler months to take off the chill!
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets 2 slices of crustless white bread 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 ounces) 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped 1 1/4 cups blanched slivered almonds 1/2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1/4 cup finely diced cucumber 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until
tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and
In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cold water with the cooked
cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, chopped garlic, sherry vinegar, chopped
shallot, 1 cup of the slivered almonds and the coarsely chopped
cucumber; blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse just until
incorporated. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho. Season
the soup with salt and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of slivered
almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until fragrant and
lightly golden. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with
the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.
First published in part in Food & Wine. Thanks to contributor Joy Manning and photographer Hallie Burton!
In need of polenta, but fresh out? Do you perhaps have some popcorn? Throw it in a blender! At a high speed, the blender (a Vitamix fitted with a dry-grain container is ideal) will grind the popcorn to a coarse cornmeal powder--exactly what you need to make your polenta dish. A cup of ground polenta will serve at least four people once prepared. Follow this link for 'perfect polenta' of your own, courtesy of allrecipes.com. A little salt, butter, cheese and several cups of water on the boil are the basic ingredients for a creamy side dish, but certainly tailor your polenta to your taste. If you have never tasted or made polenta before, it's a must try!
A note: The polenta may take longer to cook than the suggested time and may need more water to acheive the perfect consistency, so plan accordingly.
Thanks to Karen Haggenmaker at allrecipes.com for the silky, satisfying polenta photo!
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox