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Gazpacho Cream Dip (Salmorejo Cordobés)

Gazpacho Cream Dip (Salmorejo Cordobés)
The word salmorejo is used to describe a sauce made with water, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Salmorejo cordobés also includes tomato and garlic, making it essentially a gazpacho without the water. It can be garnished with chopped hard-cooked eggs and diced ham, or with pieces of chopped orange. This puree is served in Córdoba and Seville, where it is used as a dip for fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, pepper strips and blanched green beans.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. day-old coarse country bread, crusts
      removed and bread sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely
      chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 raw eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 lb. serrano ham, chopped (optional)
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
      (optional)

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the bread with water to cover. Let soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

Squeeze the bread dry and place it in a food processor or blender along with the tomatoes, bell pepper and garlic. Process until smooth. Add the raw eggs and the 1 tsp. salt and process to blend. Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, processing until it is incorporated and the mixture is emulsified. Mix in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the puree into a shallow bowl. Garnish with the chopped ham and hard-cooked eggs. Serve with a selection of raw and blanched vegetables for dipping.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Spain & Portugal, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 2000).