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Sep 9, 2009 02:19 PM

Gazpacho using canned tomatoes?

I love, love, love Alton Brown's gazpacho recipe. The two times I've made it (earlier this summer), I have always cursed myself for not tripling or even quadrupling the recipe! However, I find the blanching, peeling, seeding, chopping, etc. process quite overwhelming - especially if I want to double or triple the recipe.

Can I use canned tomatoes and expect it to taste even half as good? I am sincerely hoping that you all have had a good experience doing this with your favorite gazpacho recipes... I only end up using a cup or less tomato juice when I use fresh tomatoes, so I'm just curious what I will have to do if I substitute canned.

And, if I'm not ousted with this question, what type/brand of canned tomatoes should I use?

Thanks in advance for any feedback...

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  1. Except at the peak of tomato season, I find canned tomatoes to be vastly superior to what I can find in the grocery store.

    HOWEVER, I have yet to find a way to make canned tomatoes taste good in gazpacho.

    If you're going to try it, use the best canned tomatoes you can find (or your favorite). I like Muir Glen brand. Many others will suggest Italian imports.

    If you find a way to make it work (or a recipe), please let me know!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jeremyn

      Some brands, perhaps Muir and others, are using plastic coated cans. I am assuming this goes a long way towards eliminating the 'tinny" taste.
      I have only used fresh and only make it when I can find (or am growing), good tomatoes.

      1. re: Scargod

        Indeed, muir glen uses the coated cans you're talking about. There is no tinny taste to them at all. Of course, it's still a far different taste from fresh tomatoes.

        However, fresh tomatoes are only good for 2 months of the year, and quality canned are far better during the other 10 months (where I live). Despite that, I follow your strategy of only making gazpacho during the two months when I can get good fresh tomatoes.

    2. Yes, of course you can. Won't be as good as using ripe fresh tomatoes, but it's more than passable.

      Some tips. Use a good EVOO and allow the soup to chill overnight so that the flavors all have time to blend, which will enhance the "tomato-y-ness" of the canned tomatoes with the other ingredients.

      1. I find that making Gazpacho with any canned ingredients at all taste strongly "tinny". I really do not think that it is worth making. It will not be even half as good. The up side is that you can make it with hot house tomatoes and get a reasonable good gazpacho. I do not think you need to do "blanching, peeling, seeding, chopping, etc. Just peel the cucumbers, blend and strain through a medium chinoise. It will catch any skin and seeds.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chefj


          I generally agree with you that canned tomatoes impart a "tinny" or metaltic taste to the soup, done poorly it can almost be like drinking ketchup.

          That said, I feel like I can make a pretty good facsimile of "real" gazpacho using canned tomatoes when I make sure there are other seasonings and ingredients involved, eg. tobasco sauce, sherry vinegar, EVOO, garlic, Lea & Perrins, etc.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Tabasco and Lea & Perrins ???? In Spain they would shoot you! ( - :

        2. Gong on canned. Gong on blanching, peeling, seeding. Core your fresh 'maters and chop 'em up. Dicing the onions, peppers, and cukes will wear your paws out, why should the softest veggie put you on tilt? Keep it fresh, keep it simple.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            Are you making a soup or a salad? Because Gazpacho is a soup

            1. re: chefj

              Duh. I didn't think the 31/2 cups tomato juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and S&P deserved special mention. The fresh veggies are what it's all about. And I completely agree with you about no hot sauce, no Worcestershire, no canned tomatoes. I guess I am not communicating well this century.

              1. re: Veggo

                I guess that you are not communicating well where "31/2 cups tomato juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and S&P" come from? Also most tomato juice is not a fresh product.

          2. We do this all the time.

            Canned tomatoes won't be as nice as gazpacho made with fresh, ripe, in season tomatoes. But in general I prefer canned tomatoes unless I can get fresh, ripe, in season tomatoes, which is basically only a few months in the year.

            It does help to make the gazpacho the day before, to give the flavours a change to blend nicely. Check the label on the tomatoes, and use ones that are just tomatoes, with no added herbs and seasonings.