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Meal House: Authentic Gazpacho with Crispy Serrano Ham

Recipe provided by Tastefully Grace 

4 slices Serrano ham (or prosciutto), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and in chunks

1 Cubanelle (or Anaheim) green pepper, in chunks

1 medium cucumber (or two small pickling cucumbers), peeled and in chunks

1 small red onion

1 clove garlic

2 1/2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

1 small handful of fresh chives

In a blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, and garlic. Pulse mixture in a blender on high for 1 minute. Then blend on high for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. Occasionally scrape down sides of blender with a spatula.

Keep blender running and add the vinegar, salt, cayenne, and olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark red, depending on the region your extra virgin olive oil is from. If the mixture seems watery, add a 1/4 cup more of olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

In a small saucepan, lightly brown ham on medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes. Continuously toss to make sure the ham doesn’t burn!

Serve in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of ham, snipped chives, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tip: keeps in a glass bowl (without ham) covered with plastic wrap for up to one week!

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