Sweet cherries are a Middle Eastern fruit thought to have originated in Anatolia and later cultivated in al-Andalus.
Not the case for the tomato, of course, that American interloper. At Alejandro, a Michelin-star restaurant located in southeastern Spain, an elegant cocktail glass of this gazpacho kicks off their lengthy menu. You can increase the quantities to suit a normal-size dinner, but since the gazpacho is intense and dense, you won’t need large helpings. You will need to marinate it overnight.
Cherry and Tomato Gazpacho
½ small onion chopped
½ clove garlic, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped green bell pepper
100 grams (3 ½ ounces) ripe Raf tomatoes or plum tomatoes (about 3), chopped
½ teaspoon fine salt Generous
¾ cup (200 milliliters) mineral water
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup (70 grams / 2 ½ ounces) cherries, pitted
1 ½ tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish Mint or basil leaves, to garnish
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil and herbs, stir roughly together and leave to marinate overnight.
The following day, tip the mixture into a food processor and blend to a smooth puree. Strain into a bowl and return to the blender. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil to achieve a smooth emulsion.
Serve in small glasses, garnished with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and the mint or basil leaves.
Reprinted with permission from Andaluz: A Food Journey through Southern Spain,
Fiona Dunlop , 2018, Interlink Books, 978-1-62371-999-9, $35 hb, www.interlinkbooks.com.
is a food and travel writer, blogger and photographer. She has globetrotted for decades from successive home bases in Paris and London while regularly retreating to her house amid the olive groves of Andalusia. After writing widely on travel, art and design, her passion for food led her to create her first cookbook, New Tapas (2002), followed by The North African Kitchen
(2008) and Mexican Modern
(2013). Her articles have appeared in the Financial Times
, The Guardian
, The Telegraph
, The Independent
, CNN.com and numerous magazines. She is the author of National Geographic’s guides to Spain and Portugal, and she has worked as a guest lecturer on their expeditions as well as on other tours.