This is Helen’s Basil Gazpacho and Crunchy Crouton recipe and it is worth the trouble! I am not saying you will need to grow your veggies in a garden like Helen’s – see below – but according to Helen “If you want something good then you have to go to a lot of trouble and that’s just the way it is.” Helen is an extraordinary cook, gardener, knitter and friend. Thank you for doing this post with me Helen – now I have one of my favorite Helen creations down on the books.
The reason you want the croutons to get extra crispy is so they stay crispy once they are put in the Gazpacho. This is the best Gazpacho so get ready! Helen says “god help you if there are any leftover croutons because you will just sit there eating them.” It is SO true.
INGREDIENTS for Crunchy Croutons
1 day old free form loaf or baguette
3 – 6 T each – butter & olive oil, – adjust amount depending on the size of the loaf.
use Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning as an alternative to the individual seasonings
INGREDIENTS for Basil Gazpacho
Serves 4 – 6
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped
4 large or 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped with juice
2 garlic cloves minced
1 4 oz jar of pimento, drained
3 cup of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons basil, chopped
Adriana is a friend, mother of two, photographer, cook, and NYC born local. She loves good food and we always cook when we are together. We love to float around beautiful markets, talk about yummy things to make, choose special bottles of wine and celebrate into the night.
Since the start of nu-trio, Adriana has been eager to share one of her latest creations. I couldn’t wait to try it. Delicious, beautiful, healthy, and seasonal – this is an amazing appetizer! Thanks, Adriana!
Beet and Pesto Appetizer
Recipe by Adriana Echavarria
3 large red beets peeled
Boil the beets. Make sure not to over cook them. Beets cook like potatoes – the larger the beet, the longer it will need to boil. Overcooking the beets will make them lose their flavor and their consistency. Cook until you can easily pierce with a knife. This could take between 15 – 25 minutes. Let them cool.
Once they are room temperature cut them in slices, about a little less than ½ an inch. Three beets should give you approximately 10-12 slices.
After you have cut your slices place them on a serving dish. Beets are beautiful and decorative as well as tasty! Take ¼ teaspoon (I do ½ teaspoon but this might be too much for some) of the pesto and place it in the center of your beet slice. Take a slice of the goat cheese and place it on top of the pesto. Once you have finished decorating your beets drizzle the balsamic vinegar to taste. Ground some pepper and buen provecho!
Recipe by Adriana Echavarria
1 cup of Basil leaves
Place all of the above ingredients into your blender or food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients have been finely minced
This is so delicious! Thanks to my friend, Nikki (owner and 0perator of the best sandwich shop on Lake Burton – “Take it on the Lake”), I was introduced to the best Basil and Orzo recipie from allrecipies.com. Then… as if she had not given me enough already… she suggested adding shrimp to this simple mecca of flavors, and it is proving to be an all time favorite! Very easy to prepare (other than the tedious job of deveining shrimp) – it is so simple.
SAUTÉED SHRIMP WITH BASIL ORZO
1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp*
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter (2 for orzo, 1 for shrimp)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat orzo and 1/2 cup durum wheat semolina orzo -this is not necessary but it adds color, depth, and nutrition to this dish)
14.5 ounces of vegetable broth (Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* See deveining tutorial below.
The deveining tutorial
My uncle Stephen taught me, not only how to devein the top of a shrimp, but also the underside. Did you even know there was a vein there? Anyway, some people find this totally unecessary but I thought I would show you how it is done. I use a paper towel, folded and placed right in front of me, to wipe the vein from the knife. After slicing the shrimp down the center of the back, with a sharp paring knife, you can grab the vein with the knife, press it onto the towel and pull it off in one motion (takes a little practice). Then, flip the shrimp over and do the same thing; however I find this vein a little more difficult to remove and I will sometimes use the tip of the knife to scrape the vein out a bit until I can grab it- press and pull. Hope this is clear enough.