Simple Summer Meals : Gazpacho and Rice Salad

My sister and I are massive fans of The Simpsons, sometimes our conversations will dissolve entirely into Simpsons quotes. This little fact comes to mind because two of our favourite Simpsons references have to do with Gazpacho.

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But these little references aren’t the reason why any day I have gazpacho automatically becomes a good day, or the fact that it’s my go-to meal during the summer. Gazpacho (and the rice salad I’ve been pairing it with) are light and cool enough for hot summer days, and  filled with fresh, clean ingredients.  It’s also incredibly simple to make, doesn’t heat up the kitchen and stores well!

So let’s make a thing. Gazpacho and Rice Salad.

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First, the Rice Salad. This is an adapted recipe from Jaime Oliver for Chatelaine. The photo above is of a salad made when we were out of wild rice, so it’s regular long grain rice which is just as yummy!

This recipe will make about four servings.

Ingredients

  •  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 g mixed long grain and wild rice
  •  A few sprigs of fresh basil
  •  A few sprigs of fresh mint
  •  A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 a diced cucumber
  • 1/2 a fresh red chilli
  • 1 lemon

Instructions

Step One : After cooking your rice place it in a large, uncovered bowl in the fridge so it can cool as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Step Two : Remove the fresh herb leaves from their stalks and chop them finely. Chop your red pepper into medium sized bits and dice your cucumber.

Step Three : Cut the chilli in half deseed it and finely chop it up.

Step Four : Make your dressing by combining six tablespoons of a high quality extra virgin olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice) with salt and pepper. Add the juice of one lemon and shake well.

Step Five – Bring the rice out of the fridge and toss in your ingredients, dress with your freshly made dressing and add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.

Ta Da!

The Gazpacho is another adapted recipe, this one from a longstanding favourite at my house – The Silver Palate Cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 1 peeled and chopped cucumber with the seeds removed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 shallots diced
  • 1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to taste OR the juice of one lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Step One – Chop up your veggies

Step Two – Throw them in a food processor or blender and blend till your desired texture is achieved. I like to keep my gazpacho a little heartier texture wise, but its all about personal preference!

Step Three – Add your oil & vinegar (or lemon) along with salt and pepper and process for just a few more seconds.

Step Four – Put the finished soup in the refrigerator to chill.

Step Five – Once chilled, garnish with finely chopped basil, dill or chives.

BONUS! Try adding a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper for an extra kick!

What’s your go to summer meal?

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