Photo: Johnny Autry
is a four-time James Beard award-winning chef and author of the 1-2-3 cookbook series and Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease.
Gazpacho has come a long way since its humble beginnings—the earliest versions, possibly dating back to ancient Rome, contained little more than bread, water, and olive oil mashed into a poor man's porridge. In the Middle Ages, cooks added garlic, vinegar, and nuts to punch up the flavor and enrich the pulverized mixture. Tomatoes and peppers made an appearance in the post-Columbus era when these New World flavors came to the Spanish table. Today, there are countless adaptations.
Yet the dish remains a study in simplicity. Pick your favorite fruits and veggies of the season, blend them together as smooth or chunky as you like, and chill. Try Moroccan Red Gazpacho as a dramatic backdrop for grilled chicken or chilled shrimp. Serve tangy blueberry gazpacho as a vibrant first course, or top with a scoop of lemon sorbet as a grand finale to a summer meal.