Our 16 year old and I love to go to this little pet store in the Valley that specializes in tea-cup breeds, and provides an area where customers can sit and play with a puppy of choice. Anyway, there was the cutest black and white fur ball of a puppy. He was the one that we chose to play with and fell in love. We decided to put him back in his cage and play with another one. The second puppy kept biting us and just wasn’t as lovable as the first. After our time spent with the puppies, we walked across the street and grabbed lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots, Sweet Butter. After lunch, we went back to the pest store to look at the puppy. This time, the puppy’s cage partner had been purchased and the little black and white fur ball was all alone. We played with him some more and then went and saw a movie.
During the movie, I could not stop thinking about that puppy, and I knew that our 16 year old couldn’t either. So what did we do after the movie? We drove back to the puppy store for one last look. This time the little black and white fur ball had a new cage partner, who was biting him. I had to rescue him from that viscous puppy, so we bought him!
Not only were we not prepared for a puppy, but already have two older dogs, who were not pleased to have a little puppy introduced to them. It was a week of caring for a crying puppy and two dogs, who had nothing to do with this new little creature. Can you imagine a 110 pound lab fearing a puppy who weighs less than 2 pounds? And a Lhasa who growled every time the puppy was near her. Our household had been disrupted. This caused me to wake up on the following Sunday morning, depressed and crying. I felt bad for my dogs. I had no energy to go spend the day with my family, so I stayed home and made myself some fresh gazpacho with cilantro pesto. Cooking always calms me.
Surprisingly, while I soaked a small nugget of sourdough bread, roasted a red pepper, and chopped my summer ripe tomatoes and cucumber, I allowed the black and white ball of fur to run around the family room and kitchen, while the other dogs lay nearby. Once the gazpacho had chilled, I ate it while cuddling the puppy, inhaling his sweet puppy breath. By the end of the day, I had bonded with this little black and white ball of fur and my depressed mood and anxiety had lifted. Oh, and the gazpacho soup was so refreshing. The cilantro pesto added a nice kick to the soup.
Our other two dogs, Rocco and Dolce, are slowly getting acclimated to their new sibling. It’s going to take some time, but I’m deeply in love with our new puppy, Mochi.
Gazpacho + Cilantro Pesto
For the Gazpacho
Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien
2 oz sourdough baguette, cut into small pieces
1 medium red bell pepper
1 1/24 cups cold water
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced (if fresh tomatoes are not in season, use 13 oz canned plum tomatoes)
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
¾ red onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1-tablespoon sherry vinegar
4-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1-teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
3 radishes, finely sliced
8 thin slices of cucumber cut into matchsticks
Cilantro Pesto (recipe below)
- Start by roasting the bell pepper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the whole pepper on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until the skin is blackened and blistered. Remove from the oven and place inside a plastic bag or cover with a damp cloth and let cool slightly, then peel, seed and cut the flesh into thin strips.
- Place the baguette pieces in a large mixing bowl with the water and let soak for 1 hour.
- Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, including the roasted pepper, baguette and water. Using a hand-held blender or cuisinart, puree the soup until smooth, then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to let the flavors mature and develop.
For the Cilantro Pesto
Adapted from If It Makes You Healthy
1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed (1 to 2 loosely packed cups)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra –virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cilantro, pumpkin seeds, jalapeno, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until almost smooth. With the processor running, slowly drizzle half of the olive oil into the pesto through the feed tube. When half of the olive oil is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the food processor, Again, with the moot running, add the remaining oil.
- Using a rubber spatula, scoop the pesto into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serve in bowls, topped with radishes, cucumber, and cilantro pesto.
Nutrition Facts for the Gazpacho (does not include Cilantro Pesto)
Serving Size 192 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 87
Total Fat 9.7g
Total Carbohydrates 11.1g