Tama Matsuoka Wong

Tama Matsuoka Wong

Summer for locavores is a happy time.  Berries, peas, and peppers abound.  The Greenmarkets overflow with crispy fresh lettuce, picked hours before in nearby fields.  But perhaps no other fruit spawns more anticipation than the humble tomato.  Whether sliced in a Caprese salad or atop a sizzling burger, we can’t get enough of the tomato’s juicy red flesh.  To be sure, we pack away can after can of the stuff for cold winter soups, but for now it’s all about eating as much fresh tomato as possible.  Here’s a recipe from our current issue for gazpacho (for more on foraging, read the whole story here), which jazzes up the classic soup with anise hyssop leaves–available at the Greenmarket if you don’t have a field to forage it in.

Anise Hyssop Gazpacho

Adapted from Foraged Flavor by Tama Matsuoka Wong with Eddy Leroux

Anise hyssop grows wild in sunny spaces but you can also find it at Greenmarket stands including Keith’s Farm, Berried Treasures and Maxwell Farm. Don’t worry that this summer soup is not bright tomato red—it more than makes up for it in flavor.

Serves 6

16 perfectly ripe plum tomatoes

1 ounce anise hyssop leaves (about 25 leaves),

plus small leaves for garnish

6 slices (6 ounces) white bread without the crust, torn into rough pieces

1⁄3 cup sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Plunge tomatoes into a large pot of boiling water for 15 seconds, transfer to a bowl of ice water, then slip off and discard skins. Core and peel the tomatoes, slice in half, and remove seeds.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Puree for one minute or until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold.
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