Leftover Challenge: Gazpacho

On the Cooking Manager Facebook page (have you joined yet?), reader Deena asks:

gazpacho with parsley leaf I made lots of gazpacho and it didn’t go at all. Any ideas of what I could do with it so it doesn’t go to waste? :)

Gazpacho is a tomato-juice based cold soup that includes chopped raw vegetables, herbs and spices. After I gave Deena some suggestions for using it, she responded, OK so let me just say I still don’t know what to do with it! I mean, all interesting ideas but I imagine changing its form and it still just being blah.

Deena hit on a problem many of us have with leftovers. We’re dealing with feelings as well as food. How upsetting to spend time making a special dish for guests, to find they don’t appreciate it.

Deena might also be concerned about making something new out of the gazpacho, and ending up throwing it away. Sometimes home cooks do have to cut their losses and throw things out. Also, gazpacho is commonly recommended as a way to use up leftover salad. Leftovers from leftovers are no fun.

But as long as the gazpacho isn’t spoiled, we can jazz it up for another dish. All that tomato and green vegetable goodness is still there. The question is how to draw it out. The trick is to think of leftover food as a gift toward future meals, and a challenge.

A search of internet forums found some creative answers to the leftover gazpacho question. They say that freezing or cooking the cucumber and lettuce don’t affect the quality, but you can puree the gazpacho if you like before using it.

How to Use Up Leftover Gazpacho

  1. Salsa. Add Mexican spices and serve with chips.
  2. Pasta Sauce. If you like, add spices, meat, cheese or beans. Or saute onions and mushrooms, then add the gazpacho.
  3. Grains. Use instead of all or part of the cooking water for rice, quinoa or bulgur.
  4. Soups and stews. Think of the gazpacho as a textured vegetable stock, to use as a base for rich soups and stews.
  5. Sauce for fish or chicken. Add lemon juice or spices.
  6. Save in small portions. If you have a lot of gazpacho, freeze in small portions for adding to any of the above. That way, it won’t overwhelm any one recipe.

It may be too late for Deena’s gazpacho, but I hope these ideas will help readers. Readers, please feel free to share your own leftover challenges.

You may also enjoy:

When Using Up Leftovers Is a Waste of Resources

13 Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers

Three Reasons We Throw Away Food

Photo credit: rusvaplauke

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Comments

  1. Speaking from personal (and unfortunate) experience – it doesn’t freeze well.

  2. Thanks, Ariela. What did you try to do with it? Would it have helped to take out some of the vegetables? What was it like?

  3. @ ariela, it might be your recipe–mine freezes quite well. and makes a ton. i usually freeze half and defrost for shabbatot when we’re alone. we usually use croutons during the second go round.

  4. Aviva_Hadas says:

    Mine aslo did not freeze well…

    There are a multitude of ways on preparing gazpacho – mine is never leftover salad (no lettuce or other leafy vegetables). Also mine is not whizzed down to puree, mine is very chunky. Some use bread, mine does not & I use the best quality olive oil…

    I hav enever had to worry about turning mine into something else. It starts as dinner & morphs into lunch – that’s it. :O)

  5. Two ideas:
    Make a pasta casserole – mix with cooked pasta, an egg or two and some of your favorite cheese(s) and bake until firm. Season with whatever your family likes.

    This is my surefire way of disposing of anything reddish, tomato-ish without the kids noticing.

    Shakshuka – this is an Israeli specialty – fried eggs in tomato sauce. Pour the soup into a frying pan and cook until most of the liquid evaporates and gazpacho reaches tomato-paste consistency. Break one egg for each serving. Use your spatula to ensure the eggs get thoroughly cooked.

  6. Faye Levy says:

    If your gazpacho has quite a lot of vinegar in it, I agree heartily with your point in the post to use it in small amounts so it won’t overwhelm other foods. I like your idea of adding a small amount to a vegetable soup. It might be good to first cook the gazpacho separately to evaporate some of the acidity.

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