In England, in a family with four lively children (two girls and two boys), a bottle of TCP was always at hand.  This antiseptic liquid was used to treat our cuts, grazes and insect bites as well as any stings resulting from an inadvertent brush with stinging nettles.

Although its official name started with Trichloro…  (its full name contained over thirty letters), we never found out what the letters T.C.P. stood for.

But here in Israel, the letters T.C.P.  suggest something quite different - Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers - the three basic ingredients for an Israeli salad.  

Of course, people add other ingredients to suit their taste - some snippets of spring onion,  a handful of chopped parsley, a little dill, chives, some olives (whole or sliced) --- the possibilities are  endless. This variety goes for salad dressings too. Just oil and lemon?  Or do you add a pinch of sugar? Some mustard? A little honey?

On a hot summer’s day, you might be interested in another variation on the classic Israeli salad - instead of serving it as a dish of diced vegetables, you can also present it in liquid form.   You will have made a gazpacho.

Make it early in the day, put it in the fridge and there you’ll have it for later: cool, refreshing and full of vitamins.

Here is my recipe - but obviously you play it by ear, so to speak, and vary the ingredients so that the liquid version, like the colorful cubes, meets your taste.

GAZPACHO

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

4 or 5 large ripe tomatoes
l cucumber, peeled and chopped
l red pepper (de-seeded and chopped)
A small pinch of sugar
A large pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of wine or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Optional: some parsley, dill, chives, celery leaves, spring onion

Method

  1. Cut a large X in the base of the tomatoes and immerse them in a pot of boiling water. After a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon and allow to drain. The peels will come off easily. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.
  2. In a blender, liquidize the chopped cucumber, red pepper and tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt, vinegar and olive oil (and any other “additions” that you like). If it is too solid, add a little bottled tomato juice.
  3. Taste and season according to taste. Refrigerate.
  4. Serve cold.  It will keep in the fridge for two or three days.

B’Teavon!

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