Garbage Gazpacho and Crispy Cashew Salmon


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muted bubble-gum pink nails. pedicure massage. scorching sun. toes in the sand. ocean breeze. sun kissed skin. beach side bar. grilled fish taco. balsamic honey sweet potato fries. pina colada. bloody mary with three olives. girl talk. artist friend painting beach scenes. convertible bmw with the top down. homemade baba ganoush and pita. saint patty’s day parade. ripped jeans and mustard crop top. balayage hair style. bubble baths. omelette with pineapple-habanero jelly. lots of brie. creamy coffee. gossip mags. cooking light and bon appetit recipes. sleep over with friends. welcoming husband home from work trip. white clam pizza. sleeping in.

Ah, Spring Break for teachers. Mine has been a blessing. Much needed. This year has been full of firsts for me. This was my first spring break living in Savannah. Having the opportunity to drive down the road and lay on our local beach was incredible. Getting a sun burn in early March was a new concept for me. I still have to pinch myself in these moments.

It has been a journey for sure, moving to Savannah that is. Far from home (Syracuse, New York), family and friends. You begin to really appreciate advances like Facetime to keep you connected. God has truly taken care of us in this new chapter of our lives though. I find myself grateful for many things, everything as a matter of fact. For the sunshine, chirping birds, warm bed, days off, loved ones (that goes without saying), comfortable home, a washer and dryer in the hallway (instead of a deep dark basement), fresh seafood, the beach, newly made friendships to add to the old ones, laughter, this blog, being alive (running, walking, speaking, breathing, dancing, hearing, seeing), my job (although I face daily challenges), the farmer’s market, bubble baths, the smell of freshly cut grass and the list goes on.

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Beauty in the Bits

While on break, I photographed our oatmeal cookie leftovers. The last cookie and cranberry bits that my husband picked out of the others inspired me. Beauty in the Bits. There’s a life lesson here. We can spend our days wishing and wanting more. A bigger house, better job and fancier clothes. BUT then we’re missing the Beauty in the Bits. Instead we should be thankful for the car, job and clothes we have. Be joyful for the life God gave you. Search for the Beauty in the Bits.

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Spring Time on a Plate

My husband kept muting the TV each time I revved the chopper. It was Sunday evening and I wanted the gazpacho flavors to meld overnight. This was a very random (unplanned) soup, a rarity for me. I bought a basket of fresh tomatoes for $5  and a huge jalapeno for 25 cents at the farmer’s market the day before. Then a week before that, we made egg salad (with dill, celery and red onion), veggies with hummus and flavored waters (with thyme and cucumbers) for a boat outing. The half used produce lay in the fridge. They really had no purpose on their own, but together they would do well for a gazpacho. A Garbage Gazpacho (in reference to all the left over vegetable pieces of course).

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The Farmer’s Market Produce

The next morning, the gazpacho had a very intense and strong flavor after sitting overnight. The raw garlic and red onion aided in this. I decided to dilute it with canned whole tomatoes in their juice. This gave the soup its ruby hue. With a little salt and sugar, it tasted like I took a bite of the freshest garden in springtime. Divine. I was inspired by the composition in the Cooking Light March 2016 Salmon recipe. So, I ran to the store to fetch fresh salmon (both pieces were only $8.00), cashews and chives. There you have it, Garbage Gazpacho and Crispy Cashew Salmon.

ingredients

Garbage Gazpacho

  • 1  (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • sugar, salt and pepper to taste

Cashew Salmon

  • 2 pieces of fresh salmon, skin-on
  • 1/4 cup salted cashews
  • chives, chopped finely
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
serves 2

preparation

  1. The night before: Puree each ingredient up to the jalapeno. I used the chopper for the heavy-duty veggies, put them all in a big bowl and used an immersion blender to puree them all into a smooth soup.
  2. Stir in oil and vinegar. Add a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Use the immersion blender to mix thoroughly.
  3. Cover and let the gazpacho sit in the refrigerator overnight, to meld the flavors. Taste-test in the morning and adjust seasonings as needed. Keep cold and serve cold.
  4. Preheat the broiler to 525 and set aside a cooking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Heat a large frying pan on medium-high with olive-oil. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon. Cook the salmon in the pan skin side up first. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Flip and fry the skin side down, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Place the pieces on the cooking sheet lined with foil skin-side up. Cook under the broiler for 1-3 minutes, until the skin in crispy and golden.
  7. Plating: Ladle cold gazpacho onto 2 plates. Place pieces of salmon on top of the soup. Sprinkle salmon with cashews and chives. Serve immediately.

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The smooth and buttery salmon crackles as you break into its skin. The gazpacho is slightly warmed by the fresh-out-of-the-oven fish, harmonizing the two components. The gazpacho sings with strong notes of dill, garlic and onion, punched with the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar, and then softened with sugar. Each bite is finished off with crunchy fatty cashews and bright zippy chives. This is an excellent and refreshing spring time meal for any weeknight.

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Author: A Common Connoisseur

My name is Maria! I'm a vibrant Italian American with a zest for life. I am also a major glutton. Join me on my journey to diverse restaurants and in my kitchen, as I eat and cook my way through flavory fare. I am no expert, which is why I am merely a Common Connoisseur.

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