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CULINARY SOS

Summer refresher

June 30, 2004|Barbara Hansen | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: My husband and I were in Mexico at Esperanza resort and had the most wonderful cold cucumber gazpacho -- the best ever. Can you get the recipe?

Susan Schwarz

Sherman Oaks

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Dear Susan: This cool green gazpacho from Esperanza An Auberge Resort at Cabo San Lucas is a light summer dish with lots of flavor. Yogurt, lime and mint make it refreshing, while fresh chile and chile paste give it a kick.

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Spicy cucumber gazpacho

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: For a spicier version use the entire jalapeno.

4 1/4 cucumbers (about 2 3/4 pounds), divided

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

1/3 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, divided

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus a pinch, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus a pinch, divided

30 cilantro leaves, divided

20 fresh mint leaves, divided

1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

1/2 medium tomato, cut into small dice

1. Peel, seed and cut 4 cucumbers into quarters. Cut the remaining one-fourth cucumber in small dice and set aside for garnish.

2. Place half the quartered cucumbers in a blender jar and add the yogurt, curry paste, one-third cup lime juice, the jalapeno, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper. Puree. While the blender is running, add the remaining cucumber, 20 cilantro leaves and 10 mint leaves. This will turn the gazpacho a light green.

3. Adjust the seasonings, then while the blender is on, gradually pour in one-half cup olive oil to emulsify. Chill until ready to serve.

4. In a small bowl, make the garnish by combining the diced cucumber, the remaining lime juice, a pinch each of salt and pepper, the remaining mint and cilantro, the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, and the diced tomato.

5. To serve, spoon the gazpacho into bowls and sprinkle each with garnish.

Each serving: 217 calories; 3 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 20 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 2 mg. cholesterol; 518 mg. sodium.

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