Is there anything more refreshing on a hot day then Gazpacho? It is one of my all time favorite summer dishes. It is like drinking your salad – so filling and delicious, with the tang of vinegar and kick from jalapeño.
On our first day in Paris, it was a 100 degrees, and we ate lunch at a bistro where I saw it on a chalk board menu served with vegetable tartar on top. It was so refreshing – ice cold, and the tartar made of just cucumbers, onions and zucchini was so different (and so precisely chopped! The woman who waited on us came up and asked how I liked it and I am guessing she made it herself).
Her dish made me think about adding something on top, and I wanted to add a protein to make it a meal. I adore the combination of crab and avocado, and I was craving them tossed in lemon. So I made a mixture tossed in a quick vinaigrette out of lemon, olive oil, and mustard. The result was…amazing! Perfect for lunch or as an appetizer. (You could even put them in little glasses for a party).
For the crab and avocado (which would be good on anything, right?):
Cube two avocados, and squeeze half of a lemon over it. Then add half of the 1 lb. can of lump crab – I really love Heron Point’s brand, and you can freeze the other half, though we ate ours as an appetizer with easy remoulade the next night. But you could also use shrimp as well, chopped if they are large. In a bowl, mix together 3 T. olive oil, 1 teaspoon dijon, and the other half of a lemon, a dash of tabasco sauce along with salt and pepper. Then pour that over the lump crab-avacado mixture, and stir. Add 2-3 T. scallions.
To serve, pour chilled gazpacho into bowl. Spoon crab mixture on top and enjoy.
This is just the most luxurious dish, the crab goes so well with the tomatoes and spicy jalapeño. Simple flavors, simple ingredients. So stock up at your next farmer’s market or with your garden bounty and whip this up – I promise you will thank me!
Gazpacho with Crab and Avocado (printer version here)
4-5 very ripe beefsteak tomatoes
2 large English cucumbers, halved and seeded
2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and stemmed
1 small (or ½ of one large) red onion
2 slices day old white bread
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup ice plus ½ cup water
4 T. red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more to drizzle
Core and seed tomatoes. Peel and seed cucumbers. Stem and seed the peppers. Tear two slices of bread into pieces. Combine vegetables, bread and liquids in food processor and process until almost smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Pour soup into pitcher, cover and refrigerate until very cold. (You can serve with croutons if making without the crab mixture.)
For the Crab and Avocado Topping:
2 ripe avocados
½ lb. lump crab
3 T. olive oil
dash of tabasco
salt and pepper
2 T. scallions, sliced
Cube avocados and spoon out. Sprinkle with half the lemon juice. Add crabmeat and toss lightly so ingredients stay chunky. Make vinaigrette out of next 5 ingredients, and gently toss to combine. Add one large spoonful on top of each bowl of soup.