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August 7, 2007

Sliced bread (Recipe: gazpacho) {vegan}

Slicedbread

What's the greatest thing since sliced bread?

Actually, sliced bread -- ready and waiting in your pantry freezer -- is the greatest thing.

Sliced bread came onto the market in the 1930s, when Continental Baking, which had bought the Taggart Baking Company of Indianapolis, began to sell Taggart's signature product, Wonder Bread, in a pre-sliced loaf. "Heresy!" cried millions of home bakers, but over time convenience won out, and Wonder Bread became the first of many pre-sliced breads on the market.

Now that Ted and I, long-time city dwellers, have moved to a rural community, we have made some changes in how we shop for food. We need to be more deliberate and plan ahead, as the nearest market is 5 miles away, and the nearest farmers' market closer to 10 miles up the road.

One of the tricks I've learned is to keep good-quality sliced wheat or white bread in my freezer. When I have a leftover whole or partial loaf of artisanal bread, I'll often slice it before freezing. Then, when I need a bit of bread for fresh bread crumbs, I can extract just as much as I need without having to defrost an entire loaf. For an egg salad or turkey sandwich, or French toast or stuffing, or a beautiful bread pudding made with farm stand tomatoes, I defrost only what the recipe requires, and leave the rest for another treat on another day.

What's your favorite thing to make with sliced bread?

Gazpacho

As Julia Child would have said, proportions are not terribly important in this recipe. The best time to make this is during tomato season, which here in Rhode Island is right now. This isn't a completely traditional gazpacho, but it is a delicious version. Top with cold poached shrimp or chunks of avocado (or both) if you wish, for a hearty main course soup. Serves 8-10.

Ingredients

2 slices white or wheat bread (any size, any type)
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 English (seedless) cucumber, roughly chopped (do not peel)
6-8 large tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, roughly chopped
24 oz V-8 juice, or more to achieve desired consistency (depends on how juicy your tomatoes are)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste
Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

Place bread and garlic in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Empty into a very large (nonreactive) bowl.

In a small frying pan, sauté red onion with olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add onion to the food processor along with as many of the bell pepper pieces as will fit. Pulse until finely chopped, and add to the bowl with the bread crumbs. Process remaining bell peppers with the cucumber, and add to the bowl. Process the tomatoes until finely chopped, and add to the bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, and adjust seasoning to taste. Remove half of the mixture and return it to the food processor, and pulse until almost, but not totally, liquid (or use an immersion blender right in the mixing bowl). Add this back into the bowl, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Cioppino
Leek and red potato soup
Paella a la Valenciana

Comments

Yum...I like the sound of this version of gazpacho. I haven't made any yet this summer...definitely need to make that happen.

I got an odd loaf of bread for free at the grocery store the other day and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. French toast on Sunday morning, definitely, but as for what else? I'm not sure...

I freeze my bread too & it doesn't take long to defrost as well. You gazpacho seems uber delicious Lydia.

This recipe sounds very tempting. I will make it when summer is back in Melbourne!

Oh I love the sound of this gazpacho. Sliced bread - yes i love it too ever since our baker got one of those bread slicers I get him to cut the fresh bread in even slices for me.

I confess: my favorite thing with sliced bread is toast, slathered with butter.
Lydia, didn't you give me a recipe once for bread, tomatoes, a puddingy thing? It is entirely too humid today for me to remember more, but whatever it was, it was delicious.

mmmm, i LOVE gespacho. and yes there is nothing like saying, please slice this loaf for me at th baker! so fresh and delicious!

Thanks for the tip- important for me as our new home in Maine will be 15 minutes away from the market. A good slice of hearty bread, toasted lightly with a dollop of peanut butter is one of my favorites.

I recently tried a really fantastic gazpacho at an organic restaurant in the Berkshires. Much to my surprise they said they never use FRESH tomatoes for their gazpacho! They used only organic canned tomatoes, (Muir Glen in fact) which gave them more consistent results. (They also said canned tomatoes had more lycopene in them then fresh tomatoes???) I always think of gazpacho as strictly a summertime treat. Using canned tomatoes would certainly extend the gazpacho season.

My mother always made homemade bread (by hand!) since we had ten kids in the family and money was tight. We kids could beg for Wonder Bread, much to the dismay of my parents. Now I wouldn't touch the stuff.

Your bread looks lovely, and while I love Gazpacho, my favorite thing with sliced bread is hands down, bacon and tomato sandwiches!

I absolutely love bread, Lydia - all kinds!
I'll have it even plain.

I see that bread is from Trader Joe's - best grocery store ever!

More garlic! A Spanish friend made her Gazpacho for us in Andorra, it was HOT from the garlic.... amazingly, though, it was perfect on a 100F day. She had 9 kids and made gazpacho every day, all summer long...
Recipe sounds great - very similar to my own, (she says, smilingly) including the '2 cloves'

Genie, it will be so gratifying to make gazpacho from the wonderful vegetables in your own garden. I'm red-and-green with envy!

Valentina, I've got to say that I love my gazpacho!

Anh, I always think of this as a summer dish, but see the StartCooking comment above -- seems you can make a great version with canned tomatoes, too.

Meeta, I always feel so clever when I remember to stash sliced bread in the freezer!

Marcia, maybe panzanella? Here's that recipe:
http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2006/08/sherry_vinegar.html

Aria, the thing I love about getting bread sliced at the bakery is that you can pull out a slice and nibble on the way home!

Ronnie, "intentional shopping" was a new concept for this city girl when I first moved to the rural part of RI. My pantry grew and grew as I realized that it was a long way to drive if I forgot one or two things, or just ran out of milk. The up side is that it's very comforting to have a full pantry!

Startcooking, thanks for this tip. I honestly don't know about the lycopene in canned tomatoes vs. fresh -- why would that be true, I wonder? But I too think of gazpacho in the summertime. Now, of course, I'll have to dig into the pantry for my Muir Glen tomatoes and give the recipe a try! Thanks.

Kalyn, we used Wonder Bread to make little spitballs when we were kids -- horrible, isn't it?! Now you couldn't pay me to buy it.

Patricia, I'm with you. I'm a bread-a-holic.

Hillary, TJ's is amazing. Wish it were closer to my house, but whenever I'm in Boston (believe it or not, there is no Trader Joe's in Rhode Island!), I stock up.

Katie, don't tell anyone, but sometimes I leave out the garlic and ramp up the hot sauce. That makes it even more of a "false" gazpacho -- but it is mighty delicious!

Not being a big bread person, I love freezing the slices to take out singly for toast smeared with butter with a lovely drippy egg on the side. Heaven.

I have been craving gazpacho this summer! I try to keep chunks of challah in the freezer to make bread pudding, as well as a loaf of French bread for a quick fondue!

Yes! Panzanella..thanks for the reference. And by the way,I've made your gazpacho twice and it's at once wonderfully refreshing, as well as filling, on a sweltering summer day.

Callipygia, that does sound heavenly!

TW, I really need to make bread pudding more often, especially in tomato season. I've been making huge batches of gazpacho practically every week this summer -- makes me feel virtuous and healthy!

Marcia, so glad you've enjoyed this recipe. I'm completely addicted to it.

Gazpacho is the ultimate 'liquid salad'! A soup that really hits the spot especially on a hot day! Cheers!

I was looking for fresh bread crumbs to use last weekend. I guess now I know how to have it on standy-by. Thanks Lydia!

I agree that frozen sliced bread is the best thing since sliced bread :-)

My fav. thing to do with frozen sliced bread is grill it and make bruschetta or plain garlic bread.

CC, "liquid salad" -- I love that. It is the most refreshing soup.

Veron, stash a few slices of bread in your freezer. You'll wonder how you ever lived without them!

Nora, what I love about frozen bread is that it can go right from the freezer into the oven and it makes super bruschetta.

I was looking for this bread (picture) just yest. at TJs and could not find it :( I need to look harder. I'm a bread person. There is always bread kept in my fridge too, just in case I'm hungry, I can always go for a peanut butter sandwich. :D

It is boiling hot here and I am simply pining for that gazpacho!
I've never tried the Tuscan wheat bread from TJs (it always looked a little too dense) but now that I see it here, I think it will be worth a try! We always get the Tuscan pane from TJs (and always feel suitably guilty about it because it is white bread, but we just like it so much...)

I would gleefully sacrifice my beloved well seasoned wok to have a TJ's near my home.

Tigerfish, TJs always has some kind of sturdy bread pre-sliced, along with lots of great kinds of things to slather on it.

Nupur, I use just a couple of slices to help give body to the gazpacho (I'm from the chunky gazpacho school, clearly!). It's been blazing hot and humid here in Rhode Island, too, and on days like that, all I can manage to eat is something like this very cold soup.

Steamy Kitchen, I agree. I only get to TJs when I'm in Boston, which is more than an hour away.

I so envy you being able to buy good breads, I keep looking for a good source but it hasn't turned up...yet :)

Kelly-Jane, I think pre-sliced bread is more popular in the US than in Europe, because we are more willing to embrace all sorts of convenience foods. This isn't necessarily a good thing, by the way... just a fact of life here.

Nothing is better than gazpacho! My recipe while similar to yours is never the same! I could live on it but I can't serve it to my husband very often.
Sliced wonder bread - didn't even like it as a kid but it was all there was.

MyKitchen, I'm lucky, my husband loves gazpacho and could eat it for days on end. I have a hard time making enough of it -- and like yours, it's never the same twice.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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