Make This Tonight: Orange Gazpacho with Crunchy Vegetables Salad and Grilled Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Inspired by the Late Summer Vegetable Salad dish recently devoured at Sra. Martinez, (soon to be named one of Esquire magazine's 20 best restaurants of 2009,) we whipped up this tasty take in about an hour.  Suffice to say that mere minutes after that hour, a crumb and a puddle were about all that remained!

The dish is comprised of three parts that come together in a bowl for service: an orange gazpacho made with yellow and red tomatoes, a crunchy salad of roughly-chopped radish and fennel with fresh corn, arugula, and avocado tossed with a simple sherry and white white vinaigrette; and grilled rectangles of garlic-rubbed ciabatta drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, whose porous texture is perfect for sopping up gobs of the silken tomato soup.  The recipe follows.

On a separate but related note, beginning today, I

will now be working with Chef Michael Schwartz as his personal

assistant and Michael's Genuine brand manager.  I won't be a stranger

to New Times and will continue blogging and writing on food every chance I can. 

Bon appetit to you, Bonne chance to me!

Serves 2+

Orange Gazpacho
2 ripe yellow tomatoes
1 red tomato
1/2 seedless English cucumber (skin on)
1/2 cup great extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

> Peel and roughly chop tomatoes (leave seeds)
> Roughly chop cucumber
> Add tomatoes and cucumber to Cuisinart
> Blend until smooth (about 30 seconds)
> Blend while slowly pouring olive oil into the mixture
> Add kosher salt and pepper to taste

Crunchy Vegetables Salad

2 hand fulls of arugula
1 cob (1/2 cup kernels) of fresh, sweet yellow corn
4 radishes
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup fennel
1/2 Florida avocado

1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

> Boil two cups of water and blanch snap peas for one minute until bright green; remove and drain; set aside
> Clean and chop radishes and fennel roughly
> Kernel the corn
> Thickly slice avocado
> Add arugula to a medium bowl; combine with vegetables
> Dress directly into salad mixture

Grilled Garlic Ciabatta
1 ciabatta loaf
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

> Heat grill pan on stove top to medium/high heat (or use a panini press)
> Slice loaf length-wise
> Smack whole garlic cloves and rub directly onto bread
> Toast for 2 minutes on each side (keep an eye on it) or until golden brown
> Chop into medium rectangles

> ladle gazpacho into base of bowls
> Pile salad into center
> Add 2 ciabatta rectangles each to the side of the bowls

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Jackie Sayet