Salmorejo is a Spanish spread or dip that is somewhat like a really thick gazpacho. Some recipes for gazpacho often include a slice of white bread to add body to the soup. The simplicity of this recipe belies its flavor. Traditionally, salmorejo is spread on grilled bread or eggplant and topped with hard boiled eggs and slices of ham. I like to dip carrot and bell pepper sticks in it, or top a vegetable salad with it. It’s good on scrambled eggs and omelets, too.

4 thick slices peasant-style bread, white or whole grain
1 pound tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 – 2 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 T sherry or balsamic vinegar
4 T extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish oil is a nice touch)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast the bread in a toaster, or a toaster oven or toaster, the latter set at 350°F, until lightly dried out. If you toast it too dark, the toasty flavor will dominate. Cut off the crusts and cube the toast.

2. In a blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes with the garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Add the bread cubes and purée until thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until lightly chilled.