Vine Ripe San Marzano Tomato, Basil, and Valencia Orange Gazpacho
2 quarts San Marzano tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded (or 2- 28 oz cans)
3 Valencia oranges
1/2 small garlic clove
10 large basil leaves (or 1 bunch)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, roughly chopped
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 Tb sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Valencia oranges, supremed (sliced wedges)
1 large Persian cucumber, small diced
1 large heirloom tomato, small diced
1/4 red onion, small diced
1 yellow bell pepper, small diced
1 avocado, small diced
2 Valencia oranges, supremed (sliced wedges), each wedge left whole or torn into pieces
2 Tb olive oil, for drizzling
Handful of basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with an ice bath, set aside. Have a spider or large slotted spoon on hand. With a paring knife, make small slits at the bottom of each tomato until they have all been scored. Once water is at a full boil, placing one cup of tomatoes into the water at a time, simmer them for about 20 seconds until their skins have loosened. Retrieve the tomatoes with a spider and set them into the ice bath, stopping the cooking process. Once chilled, remove from water and peel their skins with a paring knife and set aside. *If using canned tomatoes, omit this step.
In a food processor or blender, combine the blanched or canned tomatoes, the juice and pulp of two peeled oranges, 1/2 a small garlic clove, 1 cucumber, and basil leaves. Process until smooth. Next, add the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture is emulsified. Season to taste until desired preference, adjusting sherry or salt ratio if needed. If needed or preferred, pass mixture through a fine mesh sieve to discard any remaining bits of basil to achieve smooth and even color. Reserve gazpacho in serving bowl for garnishing.
For the garnish, supreme wedges of two Valencia oranges and small dice the cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, and avocado. Place each in separate bowls to be able to control desired amounts. When serving, place a variety of cut vegetables at the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the gazpacho base over the top. Garnish each bowl with some more diced vegetables, orange wedge pieces, a few leaves of basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.