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Sipping Summer


A starring ingredient in gazpacho.

I have a love affair with gazpacho. Served ice cold on a hot summer day, the Spanish soup is like a sipable salad, its farm-fresh flavor a revelation. Just this weekend, on a scouting trip in Sonoma for our upcoming wine country story (look for it in the October issue) I had it twice: first, in the form of an inspired amuse bouche at The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, where the chef served a deconstructed version comprised of clear tomato gelée, spiked with bits of cucumber and lobster. The following day, I snagged a bite of my friend’s delicious white gazpacho at Bovolo, in Healdsburg, a bright concoction of green and red onions, dill, mint, English cucumbers, almonds, yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper and ice. It was 85 degrees outside, and let me tell you, that soup was heaven. When (when, not if!) my own cukes come in, that's what I'll be making.

Now I’m back in our fog-drenched city, but my appetite for gazpacho remains. Where to find it? Looks like they are doing a yellow and red watermelon version at Ramblas, spiked with coriander, mint and yogurt. At Masa’s, they’re adding chilled Maine crab to a tomato gazpacho, and at Foreign Cinema they’re topping it with crème fraiche. And though the menu at Coi is ever-changing, Daniel Patterson’s been known to do a grilled vegetable gazpacho, and now would be the season. Get sipping!