Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Garden Variety: “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard

We discovered the Watauga County Farmer’s Market in Boone, N.C., a few years ago on assignment for a magazine article Adam was photographing. During his many years as a freelancer, I would often accompany him on the more interesting stories or locations. I was delighted to find this open-air miracle so close to our new home. Sure, we have a sprinkling of those cute little rickety roadside produce stands where you can purchase some local honey or garden ‘maters (their word, not mine). But there’s just something special about a farmer’s market. First of all, since most operate once or twice a week, you must plan to go. This is very big with women. We like to know when and where we will be going so we can schedule it, look forward to it and dress for it. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, there are very few things for which I will pop out of bed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday–but for Market Day, I will and I do.

From May through October, vendors offer a plethora of wares in the parking lot of Horn in the West, a historical pageant about the local history. There are fruits and vegetables picked at their peak, locally grown plants and flowers, baked goods from country kitchens, jams and jellies, soaps and potpourri, fresh eggs, artisan handmade crafts and more. The market is all a buzz and there is a wonderful sense of community between the eclectic mix of buyers and sellers. And for those precious few months, I can buy fresh produce directly from the grower and actually talk to the people responsible for their food. Although flower gardening is in my blood, my experience with growing vegetables has been limited to tomatoes, peppers and herbs. So, I’ve asked the kind and knowledgeable folks in the overalls a thing or two about growing my own veggies. (We finally put in a substantial garden this year.) They all say the same thing: you need good soil, good sun, and good food (fertilizer).

Too bad my parents didn’t have that advice years ago when we lived in Fort Myers.

My mother, probably because her mother had grown cucumbers and tomatoes in her back yard, had always dreamed of having a vegetable garden. “There is just something so satisfying about growing your own food!” she said. Can’t argue with that.

Home Grown

So, in the back yard of our Adams’ Avenue ranch (style, not cattle), just to the right of our playhouse, my father unearthed the sandy ground from which their bounty would spring. They planted corn and radishes in neat little rows and waited. But something was off. The corn, a mere 2-feet tall, had tasseled, a signal that it had matured and was ready to pick. They hesitantly plucked the ear from the little stalk, slowly pulled back the thin husk and, in horror with twisted faces, revealed a new breed of miniature maize. The diminutive cob was so small it couldn’t have passed for cocktail corn. I felt sorry for the tiny thing and imagined it might say, “I’m gonna be a real corn cob when I grow up!”

And the radishes? They were just too darn hot to eat.

Although Florida is the Sunshine State, it just wasn’t over that 8×8 patch of silt that my parents had planted under the shade of our large Poinciana Tree. Oh, and Dad said he didn’t fertilize, either. Bad soil, no sun, no food mean, well… no food.

Thankfully, our garden has good soil, gets full sun, and we have organically fed our rooted friends. The corn is already 3-feet high and there’s not a tassel in sight so I think we’re in good shape.

In conjunction with our home-grown produce, I will continue to support local farms and foods through the Watauga County Farmer’s Market and any others I may encounter.

So for the next few months, you can find me there, early on a Saturday, armed with my extra-deep wicker basket, a bottle of water, and small change. I will feel incredibly European. I will have no grocery list for what I will make later. I will find my inspiration among the stands of juicy fruits and flavorful vegetables. And I’ll probably buy way too much…but that’s exactly what you’re suppose to do at the Farmer’s Market.

Here’s the perfect recipe to use up all those gorgeous tomatoes and a variety of summer produce. It’s a great warm-weather cooler or starter that will guarantee to take the edge off those rising temperature. Despite the name, there’s no alcohol involved, just all of the goodies that make a “bloody” so good.

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Bloody Mary Gazpacho
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 8-10

  • 10 medium tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 46 ounces tomato juice, preferably organic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • pinch of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnishes: Cocktail shrimp, celery stalks, sliced cucumbers, olives, slivered red onion

  1. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, cucumber, celery, peppers, onion, garlic and scallions. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until finely chopped but not puréed (you want to retain some chunky texture to the soup). Place the processed vegetable in large bowl and proceed with the next vegetable until finished chopping.
  2. Add the honey, Worcestershire, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, sugar, pepper flakes and celery seed; mix well.
  3. Season to taste with the hot sauce, salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen:

Planning: The flavors in this develop the longer they sit. The gazpacho can keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 4 days.
Product Purity: Check the label on your Worcestershire sauce since most store brands contain high fructose corn syrup. Annie’s organic is fabulous. Frank’s hot sauce is my absolute favorite.
Presentation: I prefer to showcase all the beautiful colors in a clear mug, outfitted with some of the ingredients in the gazpacho. Stand up a stalk of celery, skewer a few olives, hang a shrimp on the rim and float a cucumber slice and a sliver of red onion on top. Serve extra olive oil on the side for a drizzle at the table for a bonus flavor booster.

© 2012 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

… Adam says:

Translucence is a lovely word, isn’t it?  It’s a lovely thing to behold as well and a very effective use of light in certain circumstances, as in the celery above or when you have thinly sliced citrus fruits. Position your dish so the light is behind it, fill in the front with a reflector (some info on this here). Adjust your exposure for the center of the image, making sure the brightness of the back light is somewhat overexposed (brighter than normal) and voilá!

Content and photography © 2012 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Soups, Salads and Sandwiches and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Bloody Mary Gazpacho

  1. Kate says:

    Two of my favorite things in one dish!!! Can't wait to try it. Kate @kateiscooking

  2. Darcy Jones says:

    What a perfect remedy for a morning after (or even afternoon after)! And a beautiful post to boot. Appreciate the tips on lighting the picture as well. Will be on my weekend menu I am sure.

  3. Sandra says:

    Congratulations Foodie Friends on being in the Top 9 today!!!

  4. Omeghan says:

    Ah ha ! Now I have the receipe TYVM! The local reaturant down on Bronte Harbour, Ontario, Canada, reduces this receipe and uses it as BBQ sauce on their jumbo grilled shrimp. (and they serve it as a dipping sauce on the side) Simply Devine!

    Congrats on Top 9 !

  5. Sandra says:

    Fantastic pictures as always…and ahh the recipe sounds so good! Really unique recipe and very well served!
    One more amazing post from my dream team!:)

  6. kitchenarian says:

    This makes me want to race out the door and find a farmer's market. I love finding new varieties of fresh vegetables at the market and then figuring out how to prepare them. I love this recipe for gazpacho – I like my gazpacho spicy and this looks perfect. Congrats on Top 9.

  7. The Souper says:

    Now this says “Summer”.
    Great looking drink, appetizer.

    The Souper

  8. Ruby says:

    I love this idea! Bloody Marys are my go-to airplane drink, but now that you mention them, I see no reason why they should be enjoyed exclusively at 3000 feet. Thanks, too, for the photo tips. Love your blog!

  9. Parsley Sage says:

    What a haul! Farmers markets are so much fun :) Glad I'm not the only one who geeks out about them. Great recipe too, super yummy!

  10. When we lived in Macedonia every Tuesday and Friday were market days… my mom would get us out of bed before 6 so that we could get there before anyone else. :)

    The gazpacho looks fantastic…just as everything else that you make!
    I love the flavors!!

  11. Sandra says:

    I love the Farmers Market. Ours is kind of piddly and doesn't get into full swing until about August. Went to one in Dallas and I could have spent the night there. Everything imaginable was there and they let you sample!! I also diggin tha Bloody Mary Gazpacho.

  12. Chef Dennis says:

    what a wonderful way to serve gazpacho, the honey is an interesting addition, and I love the shrimp in it!
    Hope to see you both this sunday!

  13. Jay says:

    absolutely yummy recipe…sounds gorgeous..:P

    Tasty Appetite

  14. Anne says:

    Cheryl! I could eat gazpacho all year round I love it that much. And I am with you. I would set my alarm on a Saturday to get to the farmer's market. I love shopping in such a relaxed and casual atmosphere! This soup is just beautiful. And given the fresh vegetables…I bet amazing in taste! And Adam…gorgeous photos, as always! : )

  15. Lizzy says:

    Oh, what a fabulous twist on gazpacho…my favorite summertime soup! LOVE this!

  16. Great dish and photography as usual. I love the photo tip.

    Typical of m I am actually trying to imagine this with some good vodka in it. Not for the kids of course

  17. Good point Christiane, but I've got you covered: All cameras have what's called exposure compensation. This function allows you to adjust your exposure as needed and you can find it in your camera manual. When you have the time, call me, camera in hand and I'll walk you through it…

  18. The Mom Chef says:

    Ok, so I love a good bloody mary and I adore gazpacho so of course I'm hooked! I'm surprised at the use of honey though. I don't think I've ever sweetened either dish before.

    Adam, thanks for the tip but remember, point-and-shoot (aka, no adjusting of exposure). Must….have….instruction. :)

  19. At first I thought this post was going to be something completely different than what it was. (With a title about Bloody Marys can you blame me? ;-) ) Had it gone as I expected, I would not have been disappointed. But, what a pleasant surprise. I love farmers markets! Don't they just make you want to smile endlessly? I can't wait to see what else delicious it inspires.