The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 07.31.06


Gazpacho Time

You are burned out on the barbecue, aren't you? You have grilled, seared, roasted, and singed 'till you just can't stand the heat any longer -- you just might be exhibiting all the classic symptoms, my friend.

Perhaps you aimlessly wander around the meat department, scratch your forehead, and come up empty handed as you have had everything offered at least twice this summer. The mere site of a hot dog makes you cringe and even the thickest and juiciest of steaks elicits sighs.

Yep, you are suffering from Boring Barbecue Syndrome -- otherwise known as BBS, an affliction that is pervasive in late summer.

No worry, help is on the horizon and you are not alone. The thing is, how exactly do you put a little zing back into your sex life? - Oops… steak life as it were.

I consulted doctors far and wide about this affliction and most recommend meat abstinence for at least three days. This has the benefit of indulgence in all things veggie just as the harvest season begins.

Trust me - if you follow this regime for three days you will see a return of your barbecue libido.

Just think: you can eat all the new corn, fruit, and crisp veggies to your hearts content with nary a worry about cholesterol and reward yourself with a fabulous dessert each time.

A great way to combine fresh veggies is in a classic chilled soup called Gazpacho.

This "soup" is just the thing to set you right while delivering a power-packed dose of essential nutrients and vitamins. Heck, you can even sip it on the go as you shop for back-to-school items which appeared on shelves this week.

Make a big batch for the family and you will definitely be rejuvenated. You are limited only by imagination when making this"liquid salad." Some recipes call for the addition of stale bread to the blend and a teaspoon of sherry while others eschew tomatoes entirely. Add what you may have in your garden should you wish.

A friend adds a dose of ginger to his recipe and it adds a nice subtle tingle to the tongue. You can also substitute chilled chicken or veggie broth for the tomato juice if you desire a thinner version.

Adventurous types can add some fresh horseradish with a celery stick as garnish and have a Caesar in a bowl. You get the idea.

Go Gazpacho Go

6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4- cup red wine vinegar
1/4-cup olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups tomato juice

Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend. Serves 8.