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Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream (+ Cookbook Giveaway)

Photo Credit: Leo Gong

Today I’m thrilled to share a recipe from The Longevity Kitchen, the fabulous new cookbook by Rebecca Katz, MS. Rebecca is a Marin-based nationally recognized cookbook author, nutrition expert and chef. She is the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which is dedicated to transforming lives through nutritional science and culinary alchemy. Her previous book, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, is a two-time IACP award-winner.

Rebecca was kind enough to share her amazing gazpacho recipe, which is a perfect use of the abundance of summer tomatoes that are flooding farmers markets this time of year. Filled with rich, earthy flavors like cumin, coriander and fennel, and blended until smooth as velvet, this gazpacho is a huge step up from the more traditional chunky versions.

We’re also giving away two free copies of Rebecca’s new book, The Longevity Kitchen. To enter simply leave a comment below explaining your biggest challenge to cooking healthy food at home. Two winners will be selected on Friday.

To learn more about Rebecca visit her website rebeccakatz.com and follow her on Twitter @rebeccakatzyum.

Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho

by Rebecca Katz

Some folks like shots of tequila. Well, my choice of a shot is much, much healthier. Take this Mediterranean gazpacho. It makes a hit of V-8 look like amateur hour. The great part about gazpacho is it’s really a vegetable orgy: cucumbers, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, fennel, garlic.

At this point readers often scream, imagining they’ll look like a bunch of nine-fingered piano players after all that veggie chopping. Believe me, I know—at culinary school, gazpacho prep is the equivalent of Ninja Knife Skills Boot Camp, where teachers walk around the kitchen with (I’m not kidding) rulers to make sure each veggie is uniformly diced. That’s nuts, and unnecessary; here we toss everything–veggies, spices, herbs, oil–all into the Vitamix, add a little olive oil and shazam! It’s party time.

I took this to an Independence Day dinner and poured out the cheer into shot glasses topped with a little avocado cream. You know you’re doing something right when everyone corners you for the recipe (I’m an easy touch on that one). This is like a drinking a Virgin Mary. No hangovers. Promise.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: N.A.

Serves 8

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into quarters
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup basil and, or cilantro roughly chopped
  • 3 cups tomato juice (low sodium, I like Knudsen’s Brand)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon, sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8-teaspoon cayenne

Other Ingredients
  • 1 medium avocado
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

To make avocado cream place the  “Other Ingredients” in blender and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. No need to rinse blender before proceeding.

Place the tomato juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, spices, vegetables and fresh herbs in a high-speed blender and process until velvety smooth. Taste. You may need another pinch of salt or an extra drop of maple syrup. Pour into small glasses and garnish with a dollop of avocado cream.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.