Attack of the cherry tomatoes

I'm convinced that cherry tomatoes are going to one day take over the world as they certainly took over my garden this year.  I even noticed rogue plants springing up in the flower containers where I've used my compost as fertilizer.

I've eaten a ton of them in salads. I've whizzed up countless ones for fresh salsa. My freezer is full of them to be used later for soups and stews.  Tomatoes were taking over my life and I was running out of ideas.  But even with the overrun, I'm sort of sad to see them dwindle away - my plants are still loaded with bright green orbs but I doubt they'll ripen much now that the weather is turning cooler. 

I found this little gem of a recipe in the August 2013 issue of Eating Well magazine and it was the perfect way to finish off my bounty of cherry tomatoes.  I'm too cheap to buy "real" lobster meat and I didn't want shrimp, so I used langostino for this recipe.  It's a lobster-like crustacean and very similar to crayfish (or crawdaddy, if you're from the South.)

This Seaside Tomato Gazpacho would be great for a light meal during the hotter months of summer or a fun party appetizer served in small shot glasses.

Seaside Tomato Gazpacho
Eating Well magazine, August 2013

serves 4 (1-1/2 cup each for entree) or 6 (1 cup each for appetizer)

printable recipe

3 cups low-sodium vegetable juice, such as V8 or R.W. Knudsen Very Veggie
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups diced fennel bulb or celery, plus 1/4 cup fennel fronds or celery leaves, divided
1 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cooked lobster from two 1- to 1 1/4-pound live lobsters or 2 cups chopped peeled cooked shrimp
1 avocado, chopped

1.  Combine vegetable juice, bell pepper, fennel (or celery), tomato, onion, vinegar, oil, Old Bay, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

2.  Top each serving of gazpacho with 1/2 cup lobster (or shrimp) for an entree portion or 1/3 cup for an appetizer serving. Garnish with avocado and fennel fronds (or celery leaves).

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Finish with Step 2 just before serving.



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