What's in a name? When I asked our waitress, “Who or what is Geezamboni?” she told me (tongue firmly planted in cheek), “It's the name of the owner's cousin's wife's dog.” Then she laughed and said she'd been given permission to say whatever she wanted when people asked about the name. But don't let it confuse you. My friends were hesitant about joining me for dinner because they thought the place must be Italian. Italian it is not, original it is.
Gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. It comes from Spain, where there are many variations in the preparation of the dish. There's even a “white” gazpacho made with almonds and white grapes, but I'll stick to the traditional version. This recipe is from a Spanish friend who lives in beautiful Seville, where this delicious chilled soup is thickened with bread. I eat a lot of gazpacho when my own crop of juicy, scrumptious tomatoes starts to ripen. It's important to use high quality tomatoes. The secret of a great gazpacho is making it a day ahead of time so all the flavors have a chance to marry. The soup tastes quite bland when first assembled, but after it rests for a day, you can adjust the flavor by adding more salt, pepper, mashed canned tomatoes or juice. Serve it icy-cold in chilled bowls and garnish with freshly made croutons. If you'd like to sample this version of the dish, I'll be doing a cooking demo/tasting at Bookworks on Rio Grande, Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m. So come on down and try a sip.