Serves 8-10 people
For the Gazpacho
1 cup bread, cut into 1” cubes
3 cucumbers- peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 red bell peppers- seeded and chopped
1 small onion- peeled and chopped
4 lb. very ripe tomatoes- seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic- peeled and chopped
4 T Sherry vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Manchego and Bacon Crostini
1 French baguette
2/3 cup of olive oil
2 cups crème fraiche
Salt and pepper
½ lb block Manchego cheese
8 pieces of thick sliced bacon
1 tsp smoky paprika
For the Gazpacho
Soak bread cubes in water for ½ hour, squeeze out water with hands
Puree bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and 1 cup water in a food processor until very smooth, pass through a sieve
Chill gazpacho for at least 2 hours
For the Crostini
Cut the top off of the baguette and slice into 1/4 inch slices on a bias. Lay them on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Double check by biting into one and checking that they’re crispy all the way through. Let cool and set aside.
For the Manchego Crisps
Grate the Manchego cheese and make small piles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Pile 1 tablespoon of cheese. Flatten the tops so they are evenly distributed, creating a 1 ½ inch circle. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 mins, constantly eying the cheese during the end because they brown fast. Bake until they turn golden brown. Gently remove each crisp with a thin spatula and let cool, they’ll crisp up in a few minutes.
For the Bacon
Cut bacon into 1 ½ inch pieces, toss together with smoky paprika into a bowl until all the pieces are covered. Lay each piece onto a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes on 400 degree oven or until crispy. Remove from baking sheet and place on paper towels.
Garnish the toasted baguette slices with a dollop of crème fraiche and then arrange the cheese crisps and bacon pieces on top.