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Gazpacho salad

This is a salad version of the better known gazpacho soup. A French dressing well-flavoured with garlic is really essential. Mix together 6 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (or lemon juice) and season with freshly ground black pepper. Crush a garlic clove with salt
using the blade of a small knife, and blend it into the dressing. (Use only half a clove if your family prefers a mild garlic flavour.) Vegetables are blanched for a variety of reasons - to soften them before further cooking, to retain colour, to get rid of a bitter flavour. Refreshing immediately in cold water stops any further cooking.

ingredients

serves 4
350 g (12 oz) tomatoes, skinned and thinly sliced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar
10 tablespoons white or brown breadcrumbs
8 tablespoons French dressing

TO SERVE
10 black olives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

method

1. Prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and peppers as indicated above. Plunge the peppers in boiling water for 30 seconds (to blanch), and then immerse them immediately
in cold water (to refresh them).

2. In a glass bowl, put a layer of cucumber, followed by a layer of tomatoes and a sprinkling of sugar, a layer of onion and a layer of mixed red and green peppers. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons French dressing.

3. Continue these layers, finishing with a layer of 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Cover these with French dressing so that they are well soaked, then cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours before serving.

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