Besides air conditioned rooms, pools and the beach (which can’t always be frequented) food and drink play a key role in influencing body temperature. In this heat it’s hard to have an appetite for heavy, greasy and hot foods. So in light of Spain’s triumph over Germany on Wednesday, here are two Spanish summer dishes that are healthy and will keep you cool. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to add your own recipes.
Gazpacho is a tomato-based vegetable soup traditionally from Andalucía and is served cold. Accounts say that the soup was brought to Spain by either the Arabs or the Romans and originally it did not have tomatoes; just bread, olive oil, water and garlic and vinegar in the Roman version. It wasn’t until the 1700s that tomatoes were added after it was discovered that they were in fact not poisonous as previously believed.
Traditional gazpacho is made with a red tomato base following this recipe:
- 10 oz of bread
- 21 oz. of tomato
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 onions
- 2 red and green peppers
- 1 cucumber
- 7 tablespoons of oil
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of water
In a big mortar mash the cumin, the garlic and the soaked bread, in a plastic bowl mix the chopped onion, the chopped tomato, the oil, the vinegar, the salt and the contents of the mortar, mash it with the mixer and add very cold water to mix everything. Add salt and strain it. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Serve with the tomato, the cucumber, the pepper and the toasted bread cut to dices.
A popular punch at aristocratic parties in the 1800s, sangria is now enjoyed world-wide but is originally from Spain. Traditionally made with red wine (usually Riojas or other Spanish reds), brandy, fruit juices, fresh fruit and soda water, the white wine version is a more refreshing and lighter option for the summer.
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 firm ripe peaches, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, cut lengthwise into thirds, and sliced thinly crosswise (4 cups)
- 1 bottle white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, well-chilled
- 1 can (12 ounces) or (1 1/2 cups) seltzer or club soda
- Ice cubes, for serving
In a large bowl or pitcher combine brandy and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; stir to dissolve sugar. Add fruit and wine to brandy mixture; stir. Just before serving, add seltzer, and stir again. Serve over ice.
Note: you can also add fruits such as strawberries, apples, oranges or any others you want to. For the fruit to absorb the full flavor of the drink let it chill in the fridge over night. Also check the links below for a red sangria recipe.