Great gazpacho starts with juicy tomatoes. And because this preparation is raw, there’s no hiding a sub-standard specimen.
½ hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded
½ large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded
2 pounds very ripe red tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into ½-inch wedges, 3 tablespoons seeds reserved
½ large shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons (or more) sherry or red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped chives, and grilled or toasted country-style bread (for serving)
Cut 2″ of the cucumber into ¼” pieces and set aside for serving; coarsely chop remaining cucumber and place in a large bowl. Cut one-quarter of the bell pepper into ¼” pieces and set aside for serving; coarsely chop remaining bell pepper and add to bowl with chopped cucumber. Add tomatoes to bowl and toss with shallot, garlic, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to let flavors meld.
Transfer tomato mixture along with any accumulated juices to a blender. Add 3 Tbsp. oil and purée on medium speed until smooth; season with salt and vinegar, if desired. Strain through a coarse-mesh sieve into a large bowl or pitcher and chill until cool, about 1 hour.
Divide gazpacho among bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes, chives, reserved cucumber and red pepper pieces, and tomato seeds; drizzle with oil and season with salt. Serve with bread alongside.
Do Ahead: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
Recipe: Rick Martinez | Photograph: Alex Lau