It's tomato season - walking by all the tomatoes at the farmers market made me want to make a big batch of salmorejo. When we were in Spain last year, we couldn't get enough of it when we were in Sevilla and Cordoba. Salmorejo is a similar to gazpacho but the difference is that rather than adding other vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers in a typical gazpacho, salmorejo is primarily just tomatoes pureed with stale bread, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil until it's very smooth and creamy. It's typically a bright orange color and is thicker than gazpacho because of all the bread. I add a little red onion and a few roasted piquillo peppers, but you can skip them if you like.
Use a mix of different types, and heirloom tomatoes if you like, or if you are tempted by buying a bushel of red tomatoes, make a batch of salmorejo and then a batch of gazpacho too!
Makes about 5 cups
- About 2 lbs. tomatoes, cut into large chunks
- 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 roasted piquillo or roasted red peppers, optional
- 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 2 cups roughly chopped day old crusty bread or baguette (I leave the crusts on but you can remove if you like)
- 1 – 1/2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, more to taste
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, more to taste
In a blender, start with the garlic and onions and finely chop on the mix or chop setting. Add tomatoes, piquillo peppers if using, salt and and puree on the same setting. Add the bread, drizzle the olive oil and sherry vinegar over all the bread, and puree for a minute or two until all the bread is blended in. Up the blender speed to blend and run until it's really smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed with sherry vinegar or salt. If it's too acidic depending on your tomatoes, start by adding just a 1/2 tsp. of sugar, mix, taste and adjust again. If you don't have enough of a vinegary tang, add a little more sherry vinegar.
Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can come together before serving, or overnight is even better. Taste and adjust seasoning again if you need to before serving.
Garnish with sliced jamon serrano or proscuitto, chopped hard boiled egg, a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil, and a few toasted pieces of bread for serving if you like. Or you can omit the jamon to make it vegetarian, or omit the jamon and egg to make it vegan.
A few notes - some people like to skin the tomatoes first but I don't think it's necessary, especially because you want this to be pureed very smooth. Also, if you don't have any stale bread, lightly toast some fresh bread so it dries out a little bit but don't let it get browned.