Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? I think it’s funny that the celebration seems to have grown year after year, and I’m totally convinced it’s all about getting the average consumer to spend more. But I don’t care. I’m in. Pour me a big fat margarita.
So this week will be all about Cinco de Mayo. First up, gazpacho. I know, I know. Gazpacho is really a Spanish dish. But I had all these lovely vegetables in my fridge, the star of which were some fresh fava beans. So I am celebrating the Spanish influence on Mexican heritage with this gazpacho. Plus, many of the veggies used were grown in Mexico. So there you go.
Have you ever prepared fava beans? It’s a multi-step
ordeal process. First, you remove the beans from the pods. Place the beans in a medium pan with boiling water and cook for about one minute. Remove the beans and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking (and cool).
Once the beans have cooled, you remove them from the waxy inner shell.
By the way, I love shrimp with gazpacho. Inspired by this recipe, I decided that my version was begging for a quick-pickled shrimp or two. You know how I love a good pickle. I made a few substitutions, and the results are awesome! Note: Do not decide to throw the sliced fresh jalapeno into the pickling liquid while it is coming to a boil. I did this, and quickly poisoned the air in the kitchen. The hubby and I couldn’t stop sneezing,coughing, and wheezing. My throat and lungs still hurt. Whoops!
Feel free to substitute other vegetables in this gazpacho. Typically this soup is made with cilantro, but I used mint in its place. Mint with fava beans is a favorite of mine, and I think it enhances the flavor of the beans in this soup. I wish that had saved a few of the beans for garnish, because the green is such a pretty garnish against the tomato red soup.
You could also substitute tomato juice for the carrot juice if you prefer. I used carrot, because I juiced it myself.
Some folks like to eat their gazpacho hot instead of cold. To do this, just gently simmer the soup, instead of placing it in the refrigerator, until it is just heated through.
Spring Gazpacho with Fava Beans and Quick-Pickled Shrimp
Spring Gazpacho with Fava Beans:
1/2 c. fava beans, shelled
1 large tomato
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. carrot juice
1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
2 T. sherry vinegar
approximately 20 mint leaves
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Place shelled fava beans in the boiling water and cook for about 1 minute. Remove beans from boiling water, leaving the water in the pan, and place in an ice bath for about 5 minutes or until cool. Remove from the ice water and drain. Remove the cooked beans from their waxy shell. Set aside.
Score the bottom of the tomato with criss-cross cuts and place it in the boiling water. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then place in the ice bath. When cooled, remove the tomato from the ice water and peel off the skin. Remove the core and cut the tomato into chunks. Place the tomato in a blender.
Cut the green pepper and cucumber into chunks, reserving about 1/4 cup of each, and place them in the blender with the tomato. Dice the reserved green pepper and cucumber and set aside with the fava beans.
Add the remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend the tomato mixture on the chop setting for about 30 seconds. Check for desired consistency and pulse a few more times if desired.
Pour the tomato mixture into a bowl. Add the fava beans and diced green pepper and cucumber, reserving some beans for garnish if desired. Mix to combine, then cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
3 cups water
1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1 T. mustard seed
1 T. whole peppercorns
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and matchstick sliced
1 t. sucanat, or prefered sweetener
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
Combine water, vinegar, mustard seed, peppercorns, ginger, and sucanat in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the shrimp and jalapeno slices. Allow shrimp to marinate for at least 10 minutes, gently stirring twice. Place shrimp and pickling liquid in a glass jar or bowl and cover. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
To serve, place gazpacho in a bowl. Place 2-3 pickled shrimp on top and garnish with reserved fava beans if desired.
Makes 4 servings.