STRAWBERRY GAZPACHO WITH BASIL, BLACK PEPPER, OLIVE OIL, AND GUANCIALE

ELEVEN MADISON PARK – Chef Daniel Humm

GAZPACHO
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
1 1/2 cups cubed (1 inch) whole grain bread, crusts removed
2 sprigs thyme
6 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 1/4 cups English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 1/4 cups diced red bell pepper 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper 6 tablespoons tomato juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
tabasco sauce

METHOD
Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add 1 clove of garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the bread cubes. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn. Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown. transfer the bread to a large bowl. Discard the garlic and thyme. Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, Remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl. Toss to combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours. Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth. Strain through a chinois and chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Taste and season, if necessary, with tabasco sauce and additional salt and red wine vinegar.

CROUTONS
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
2 cups cubed (1/4 inch) whole grain bread, crusts removed
3 sprigs thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD
Heat a small sauté pan on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with the olive oil and add the garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the bread. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn. Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown. Quickly transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Discard the garlic and thyme and season with the salt. Once cool and dry, store in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 1 day.

STRAWBERRY CONFIT
16 small strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for storing
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 195°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Toss the halved strawberries in the olive oil to coat them lightly. Place them cut-side down on the silicone mat and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Bake for
1 1/2 hours. Flip the strawberries and bake them for an additional 30 minutes. The strawberries should be deep maroon and tender but still hold their shape. Cool them on the silicone mat before storing in a flat, airtight container that has been coated with olive oil to keep them hydrated. The confit can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

TO FINISH
Gazpacho
Black pepper
Strawberry confit
Croutons
Fleur de sel
Basil (bush, opal, and flowering varieties)
1/4 pound guanciale, thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD
Pour the cold gazpacho into 8 chilled bowls. Season with a single grind of pepper. Arrange the strawberry confit and croutons on the gazpacho. Season with fleur de sel. Garnish with basil and a slice of guanciale and finish with olive oil.

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