I recently visited Aruba - and my trip inspired me to dig out an old recipe after my return.
I had never been to Aruba. In fact, I had never been in the Caribbean at all. And now, all I can think about is the beach.
I can't get the BOOM ba ba BOOM ba ba BOOM beat out of my head, a result of the salsa/Latin music that constantly poured from the speakers at the resort. (To be honest, this happened to me intermittently prior to the trip, a byproduct of Zumba classes.) But now it's constant.
I also can't quit thinking about swimming in the Caribbean. The spot where I swam was downwind of the restaurants. Around 4:00 or 5:00 each afternoon, the aroma of cooking food would drift across the water to where I bobbed along on a raft or splashed through the waves in the warm, blue sea.
Twice we ate at the resort's Caribbean restaurant. Both times, I ordered Island Gazpacho.
This savory chilled puree was garnished with seared spicy mahi mahi and a dab of bean sprouts, then topped with a small round of garlic toast, which soaked up the rich, tomato flavor.
It reminded me of the gazpacho recipe I've made several times over the years (but not recently). It is simple, but good, and of the smooth variety, which I prefer.
You can be sure I will make it a few times over the next few months while listening to some salsa music and sipping a daiquiri - pretending I'm still on the island.
(Makes 4 servings)
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Puree onions, peppers, garlic, tomato juice, olive oil and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least one hour before serving. (Taste before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.)