Sunday, October 15, 2017

gazpacho in october, slow-roasted salmon, and other curveballs

Is this cold avocado soup gazpacho? The Internet can't decide. Apparently chopped vegetables have to be involved and it's got to have a kick for it to earn the appellation. For the record, this did have hot sauce (Valentina instead of tabasco like the recipe suggests), and there were at some point chopped zucchinis (rather than cucumbers; again, improvising here), but you wouldn't know it. Infinitely more variations are possible. Opting for Greek yogurt instead of the coconut milk I used would make this a more significant appetizer, and with a generous, slightly charcoaled piece of flatbread it could even make a main course.

The real question, of course, is why I'm having gazpacho or cold soup in the middle of autumn. Is the increasingly unpredictable nature of the weather changing the way we eat? Hannah brought over a bottle of white Friday night, and despite my initial protestations—"it's peak cozy red wine season!"—I have to admit that it didn't feel entirely inapropos. (By the way, and in a complete non sequitur, Hannah just wrote a wonderful fiction for the New Inquiry, here, well worth the paywall.) Unseasonable as avocado gazpacho two weeks before Halloween might be, I like the thought that roller coaster weather calls for good transition dishes—plates that help us get from watermelon salads to cast-iron bolognese, the culinary equivalent of cashmere. Sprinkle your gazpacho with toasted pepitas and you have enough of a pumpkin reference to placate your perplexed dinner guests until mid-December (but after that, they'll start asking questions.)

After the soup comes the afterparty, in the form of this slow-roasted salmon. I hadn't slow-cooked a fish in a long time. My guilty pleasure is super salty, shriveled up, skin-on fish, so crispy you can barely believe it used to be a living organism, which I understand is not the most adult way to eat anything. Letting this salmon warm up slowly in a 275 degree oven on a bed of sliced Meyer lemons and blood oranges, chili peppers, and fennel, was an experiment in patience, and well worth it. In a world where suffocating in a subway car is preferable to waiting 30 seconds for the next train, take your time with your fish, you know? Slow burn.

Receipes: soup is from Green Kitchen Stories, my new favorite food blog, with the aforementioned zucchini/hot sauce substitutes. And the slow-roasted salmon is from Bon Appetit—personally I would use more chili than what was suggested here, or one whole chili and then just the seeds from another, if you can handle it.

In case you're curious, the potatoes are purple Amarosa fingerlings, and the trick to the perfectly crisped skin is less olive oil. 


  1. "after the soup comes the after party" THAT REFERENCE

    ps, A+ alliteration.

    your biggest fan (besides Liliana & Pablo),



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