This simplified version of Spanish gazpacho is a light, refreshing way to use the very ripest (almost too ripe) tomatoes.
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1 seedless cucumber or 1 pound Persian cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup diced red onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry with paper towels (optional)
How to Make It
In a blender, whirl tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, olive oil, salt, and vinegar until smooth. (You may need to blend in batches.) Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with red onion, if desired.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2-cup serving.
Tomatoes with wine: Parcel 104's Master Sommelier, Randall Bertao, likes wines with clean, focused flavors and a medium acidity to balance the tomatoes--such as Charles Melton Rosé 2004 (Barossa Valley, Australia; $12) and Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (Russian River Valley, CA; $27).