Put away the cookie cutters, icing and candy sprinkles—at least until Valentine’s Day. We’re starting off the New Year with a fresh, kicky and absolutely delicioso gazpacho courtesy of one of my favorite food bloggers.
Our bodies are craving light and nourishing—and yet fantastically flavored—food right now, and thanks to food writer Gwen Walters, we’re off to a yummy start.
Gwen, who has authored three award-winning cookbooks, emptied her cup of the corporate life a few years ago and filled her plate instead with all things food. On her website www.penandfork.com, we can follow Gwen’s life as a professionally trained chef and food adventurer. The site features cooking tips, cookbook and restaurant reviews, practical how-to cooking techniques plus articles on the latest food trends and other culinary finds.
Gwen’s Pineapple Gazpacho is so gorgeous, it’s a “Made-For-TV” dish, but Gwen first shared this recipe on my radio show. The chopping and dicing of fresh ingredients and the whir of the blender came screaming through the airways. In the studio, we were begging for second helpings—and thirds.
Gwen shares its origin:
“This particular recipe is from my book, The Great Ranch Cookbook, and is based on a recipe from Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg.
When I married I didn’t know how to cook. But on my first trip to Georgia as a new bride, my husband Jeff’s granny and aunt changed all that. They made me see that cooking wasn’t a chore—it could be fun. They pulled me into the kitchen with open arms—and I haven’t left since.”
The Pineapple Gazpacho is the perfect start to a great new year, and a recipe that originated from the historic Rancho de los Caballeros is a terrific place to begin a brand new season of healthful cooking. Here’s to a yummy 2014!
Makes 4 servings
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 small fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely seeded, chopped cucumber
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Place all ingredients (excluding garnish) in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Can be prepared one day in advance; stir before serving). Ladle 6 to 8 ounces into chilled soup bowls and sprinkle with red and green bell peppers, cucumber and cilantro.
Kick up the “heat” level by adding a pinch of minced jalapeño or Serrano chile along with the garnish.