Gazpacho cream, Cordoba-style (Salmorejo Cordobes)
25 minutes, plus chilling time
10 to 12 as a party dip; 6 as a starter
Serve this thick sauce as a dip or as a starter in individual ramekins. It also can be used as a sauce to accompany fried eggplant or fried fish sticks.
8 slices (8 ounces) stale bread
11/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 ounces serrano ham, cut in thin strips
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1. Cut the bread into chunks and put in a bowl with water to cover. Let soak until softened.
2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into chunks and place in a processor bowl with the garlic. Process until puréed.
3. Remove softened crusts from bread and discard. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the bread. Add the bread to the processor bowl. (If necessary, process in two batches.) Process until smooth, then, with the motor running, slowly add the oil, salt and vinegar to make a thick cream. This makes about 21/2 cups gazpacho. Chill until serving time.
4. Spread in a dish or in individual ramekins and garnish the top with strips of ham and sliced egg.