Monday, August 18, 2014
I spent two summers traveling around Spain in the footsteps of the conquistadors. I wanted to learn and write about them, to understand what would make men leave their homes in search for, what, I'm not sure. They created terrible death through their conquest of America, but I could find few of their grave sites in Spain. Many of them didn't even make it back. They died in their land of conquest. Piazzaro was even killed by his own men. I have some Choctaw blood, and I loved learning about the men who did so much to destroy my ancestors, and so little to save themselves. I haven't finished the book, In the Footsteps of the Conquistadors, but I will. Someday.
As I traveled, I learned much about Spanish food, but one of my favorite dishes is also one of the most simple to make: gazpacho. Served fresh and cold before nearly every lunch, I am convinced it's one of the reasons the Spanish are all so healthy. That, and the two hour afternoon siesta.
Spain has five regions, and each of them has their own style of gazpacho, and even within those regions, you will find tons of variations. The one I am providing here is the one I found around Madrid, where I spent a good bit of my first summer. It's simple, but every time I eat it, I think of Spain.
a big glug of olive oil
5 coarsely chopped tomatoes
2 coarsely chopped red peppers
2 peeled and chopped cucumbers
teaspoon or so of salt
5 cloves peeled garlic
usual chopping things
Step 1: Pour olive oil in blender
Step 2: Add tomatoes. Blend.
Step 3: Then add in then cucumber, pepper, salt, and garlic. Blend.
Step 4: Once smooth, run mixture through a trainer.
Step 5: Put in fridge for a few hours until icy cold.
Serve with good, thick bread with a crust. Tear off pieces of the bread to drop into the soup as you eat, if you like that kind of thing.