Cooking with TODAY Show’s Natalie Morales: Gazpacho

Video by: Ignacio Torres

You know Natalie Morales as the smart and beautiful Today Show News Anchor who also appears on Rock Center with Brian Williams, Dateline and the NBC Nightly News. But did you know that the woman with serious journalism chops… loves to cook? The daughter of a Brazilian mother and Puerto Rican father, it’s no surprise that in the kitchen she loves to bring out Latin flavors, which she especially wants to pass on to her two sons, ages four and eight. NBC Latino caught up with Natalie in her home kitchen, where she shared some of her favorite recipes. Below, is a recipe for her “world famous” gazpacho. “Ok, maybe I exaggerate, but it is a favorite among my neighbors and family,” she jokes.“Honestly, I often make it as I go. But this recipe is a good guide.”

Natalie’s Gazpacho

For the gazpacho:
1 large can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
½ cup sherry wine vinegar
½ T olive oil
½ tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp fresh oregano
1 red pepper, ½ cut in chunks, remainder finely diced for garnish
1 cucumber, ½ cut into chunks, remainder finely diced for garnish
½ of a small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash of Tabasco, for added kick
1 avocado, diced, for garnish
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

For the croutons:
½ loaf of day old whole wheat bread for croutons, cubed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
Salt

1. In a large blender, puree the tomatoes, sherry vinegar and olive oil. Add the onions, pepper and cucumber that’s cut into chunks (reserving the finely diced portions for garnish.) Also add the thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, Tabasco and puree everything until it’s smooth. Taste and correct the seasonings if necessary. It should be tangy. If needed, add more vinegar or olive oil. Refrigerate until fully chilled.

2. In a separate bowl, prepare the croutons by coating the bread cubes with olive oil, thyme, oregano and salt. Bake at 250 until they’re golden.

3. To serve, only bring out the gazpacho when you’re ready to serve. (The colder the better!) Garnish with the finely diced peppers, cucumbers, avocado and cilantro. Top with the croutons.

Alessandra Hickson contributed to this report. 

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