They have predicted high 70s by the end of this week. Even low 80s today!
What I'm trying to say is though I am in total Spring mode (and Spring in NC lasts through the end of May!) I had some summery thoughts this week and summery thoughts lead to summery cravings, which, leads inevitably to gazpacho.
But, we're still sleeping with the comforter thrown over the quilt at night. So, cold soup wasn't going to cut it. I deconstructed the traditional Spanish starter revamping the ingredients in the form of a bite. A bite of gazpacho. But, the tomatoes and garlic are roasted. For a long time.
4 Roma Tomatoes, halved
1 Head of garlic, tops trimmed
2 Tblsp Olive Oil
Salt and FGP
1 Avocado, diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced (or lime-my lime wasn't putting forth any juice this particular night)
1/2 English Cucumber, sliced 1/2-inch thick diagonally
Chives, chopped for garnish
1/4 Cup oil for frying (I used peanut)
1 Jalapeno, sliced (with seeds and ribs intact)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic head with olive oil. Arrange, cut sides up, on a cookie sheet and roast for 2 hours.
[Now, go pick your kids up at school, indulge in some drive thru ice cream, oversee homework, and jump on the beds]
Just as the tomatoes are finishing up, remove garlic from the oven. Squeeze the now golden soft mess of garlic into a bowl, toss avocado, peppers, and lemon juice with garlic and salt and FGP to taste. Arrange cucs on a plate, top each with a tomato half, top that with the avocado mixture and sprinkle that with the chives.
Heat peanut (or canola, or olive, or whatever) oil in a small sauce pan. Have a paper towel nearby. Add sliced jalapenos to the oil a few at a time. Fry for 30-45 seconds, remove and place on towel to drain.
Top each Gazpacho Bite with one or two jalapenos, depending on how awesome you are. Serves 4. Two bites each!
After I and my tasting panel tried these we agreed that putting a thin slice of feta cheese on the top would just put these over the moon! They were really tasty, and so good for you! Enjoy for brunch tomorrow!