Summer is indeed magic. Last night we had our favourite gazpacho, and today I am making our first batch of India relish.
The gazpacho is my husband's favourite thing and is seriously good. It's sort of "inside out": the ingredients are not blended together but stacked on top of a silky smooth tomato base. I put the tomatoes through a food mill and then a sieve to get them really smooth and get all of the seeds out. I've probably posted this before but here it is again in case anyoine with an abundance of tomatoes wants to try it. It is from Niagara chef Mark Picone, a gazpacho genius!Mark Picone’s Cool Garden Gazpacho
A) For the seafood
2 lbs (1 kg) mussels - washed and well cleaned (shrimp may be substituted here)
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) chili flakes (optional)
1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seeds
B) For the tomato base
7 tomatoes - fully ripe, peeled
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste
C) For the toppings and service
1 red onion or several green onions - thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 hot pepper - thinly sliced (optional)
3 bell peppers - red, green and yellow, seeded and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (30 ml) sherry vinegar
zest of one lemon and one lime
herbs - dill, cilantro, parsley
3 avocadoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into halves
sea salt and pepper to taste
A) For the seafood:
In a saucepot, combine oil, onion, chili flakes and fennel seeds. Saute for 3 minutes and add the pernod followed by the mussels. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until done. Discard any that did not open. Allow to cool, then remove the mussels from the shell, reserving the liquid. If using shrimp, cool slightly and then shell the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Set aside.
B) For the tomato base:
Pass the tomatoes through a food mill and whisk in the oil. Season to taste with salt and mussel liquid. Set aside.
C) For the toppings:
In a large bowl, combine onion, garlic, peppers, cucumber and seasonings. Toss gently and let sit for 5 minutes. Add mussels.
D) For service:
Sauce plates with tomato base. Divide vegetables/mussels mixture among avocado halves. Place on top and drizzle with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.