Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

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Gazpacho from Summer’s Wonderful Tomatoes

When juicy red tomatoes start appearing at Farmer’s Markets and in my Community-Supported-Agriculture box, I know summer is REALLY here. As a child I struggled to like tomatoes…I tried them plain, salted, and even sprinkled with sugar…UGH, all to no avail. Now, as an adult I adore them. I grow my own grape and pear tomatoes in red and yellow varieties because I think they look so cute in salads. But sometimes, my harvest overflows so what are some good ways to use tomatoes?

Carol Fenster on Good Morning Vail, Colorado--TV 8

Carol Fenster on Good Morning Vail, Colorado--TV 8


One of my favorite ways is to make Gazpacho?a tomato-based soup that is like a liquid salad from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. It is typically a summertime dish because it is cool and refreshing and needs no cooking. There are many ways to make this delightful dish; I have a very simple version in my latest cookbook, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes, that I serve as an appetizer in over-size shot glasses and that I demonstrated on Vail, Colorado’s local TV station this week.

Here is another version that we use in my weekly online cookbook, that is also extraordinarily tasty. Serve it as appetizers in whatever little dishes you have (such as shot glasses or martini glasses) or as an entrée-size in soup bowls or large wine or margarita glasses.  Gazpacho’s flavor improves if it is refrigerated overnight, but chill it for at least 4 hours before serving to let the flavors meld.’s Gazpacho

Gluten-Free Gazpacho in over-size shot glasses

Carol Fenster's Gazpacho Shooters for Gluten-Free Entertaining

Used with permission from

2 cucumbers, diced

3 large ripe tomatoes, diced

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2  1/2 cups tomato juice

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, such as French’s

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or more to taste)

Juice of 1 lemon

Frank’s hot sauce, to taste

Garnishes: GF croutons, lemon wedges, diced avocado, chopped parsley, and sour cream

[1] In large glass bowl combine vegetables. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add half the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Combine puree with original mixture. Chill for 4 hours and serve with garnishes of your choice. Serves 4


Yellow Grape Tomatoes from my garden

Yellow Grape Tomatoes from my garden

There are so many ways to make Gazpacho (use yellow instead of red tomatoes…or melon, green grape, or pineapple anyone?), but usually it is made from tomatoes. A common method is to use pieces of bread to thicken it. This means we should be careful when ordering Gazpacho in a restaurant.

However, I find that this trick isn’t necessary and I never use any thickener. If your recipe seems excessively watery, simply reduce the amount of liquid (usually tomato juice) by about 25 percent. After all, it is a soup so it should be liquid!

I rarely see this in recipes, but I like to add a pinch of sugar or agave nectar to tomato-based dishes like this Gazpacho to heighten the flavors and balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Try it and see what you think.

How to Serve Gazpacho

Garnishes are like the “frosting on the cake.” They make our food look prettier and more enticing. I listed several possible garnishes but if you don’t want to use them, simply sprinkle a little chopped parsley or a basil leaf on each serving and you’re good to go.

If you are serving the Gazpacho as an appetizer, you don’t have to worry about what to serve with it. But if it is a main dish, then try serving it with a gluten-free baguette that you baked from one of my cookbooks. Or, toast any of the wonderful gluten-free sandwich breads and top with butter and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. Or, serve it with crispy crackers….anything to provide a crunchy contrast.

How to Store Tomatoes

You probably already know that tomatoes should never be refrigerated; keep them at room temperature to preserve their texture and flavor. I recently learned that tomatoes will last longer if stored with the stem-end down which prevents moisture from escaping and mold or bacteria from getting in. I plan to try this tip with fresh peaches and apricots, too, just to see what happens (since they should not be refrigerated either).

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