Recipe: Smoked tomato gazpacho, courtesy of Phillip Gulis at Plate in New Albany.
Gazpacho •4 large Ohio heirloom tomatoes, quartered and smoked* •¼ cup red onion, roughly chopped •¼ cup bell pepper, roughly chopped (If you want extra heat, choose a spicy pepper such as a poblano or jalapeño) •3 cups tomato juice •¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil •2 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar •Salt and pepper to taste Method:
Place smoked tomatoes, red onion, and bell pepper in a blender and puree while slowly adding tomato juice until smooth. Then add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. You may season until your reach your desired flavor. Serve cold.Watermelon salsa •1 cup watermelon, finely chopped •2 Tbsp. red onion, minced •2 Tbsp. celery, minced •4 or 5 large basil leaves, finely chopped •Salt and pepper to taste •Sugar, if needed •Extra Virgin olive oil as needed Method:
Place watermelon, red onion, and celery in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. If the particular watermelon you are using is not as naturally sweet as you would like, it is a good idea to add a small amount of sugar. Just before serving, toss mix with olive oil and basil.
Place desired amount in center of chilled gazpacho.
Note about smoking tomatoes: There are essentially three options for accomplishing this task without a smoker appliance: indoor stove top smoking (can leave a strong odor in your house), outdoor smoking on a conventional grill, or you can purchase "liquid smoke" which is a condiment that can be found in most grocery stores.
Stove top smoking: (best to have a gas stove) Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 aluminum disposable pan with damp smoking chips. Place your large, quartered tomatoes skin side down on a perforated pan (or second aluminum pan with small holes throughout the bottom) and cover with aluminum foil. Heat the smoking chips over medium heat.
When the smoke begins to rise from the chips place your covered tomatoes on top. Be sure the tomatoes are covered completely to prevent excess smoke from circulating in your kitchen. Lower the heat and allow to smoke for at least 20 minutes, longer to achieve more intense flavor.
In a small outdoor grill: Ignite gas or charcoal to medium heat. Place damp smoking chips as close to the heat source as possible by either wrapping a grill plate with foil or creating a foil "pouch" for the chips. When smoke begins to rise from the chips, place your large, quartered tomatoes skin side down on the top grill plates and close the lid. Allow to smoke for at least 20 minutes, longer to achieve more intense flavor.