Garden Gazpacho with Hazelnut and Pear Fritters

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions as main course, 16 as a tapa

Ingredient Amount
Heirloom tomatoes, assorted colors and sweetness, cored, blended and strained (about 12 cups purée) 10 ea.
Red bell peppers, medium, cored and seeded 1-1/2 ea.
Yellow bell peppers, large, cored and seeded 1-1/2 ea.
Poblano peppers, medium, cored and seeded 1-1/2 ea.
English cucumber ½ ea.
Habanero chile 1/8 ea.
Cilantro, chopped 2 Tbsp.
Lime juice 4 tsp.
Lobster stock or chicken stock 1 cup
Kosher salt 1 Tbsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground a pinch
Hazelnuts, shelled ½ cup
Egg 1 ea.
Water 2 Tbsp.
Pear balls, ¾-inch, scooped from 4 ripe but firm pears with a melon baler, or 16 ¾-inch pear balls, scooped from 8 pears if serving as a tapa 8 ea.
Wondra flour ¼ cup
Vegetable oil 6 cups


  1. Place the tomato pulp in a large bowl. Finely dice half the peppers and cucumber and stir into the tomatoes. Place the remaining peppers, cucumber, and habanero in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process to a pulp, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir into the tomatoes with the cilantro, lime juice, and stock. Taste and adjust seasoning with the salt and a pinch of pepper. Chill for 1 hour or longer, preferably overnight.
  2. Prepare the hazelnuts. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Bake the nuts on a cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the skins begin to crack and the interior is lightly browned. Transfer the nuts to a terrycloth towel, gather the towel around them, twist tightly, and set aside for 5 minutes. Then vigorously rub the nuts through the towel for 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of the skin is removed. Discard the skin and grind the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Make the pear balls. Beat the egg with the water in a small bowl. Roll the balls in Wondra flour, then in the egg wash. Shake off the excess egg and roll in the ground hazelnuts. Place on a parchment-lined half-sized baking sheet and place in the freezer for 1 hour or longer, or until they are frozen.
  4. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil (about 6 cups in an 8-inch wide pan or deep fryer) over medium-high heat to 350°F. Deep fry 5 pear balls until golden brown, about 2 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Drain briefly on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining pear balls. Place 1-1/2 cups of the cold gazpacho in a bowl, rest a warm fritter on top, and serve. If serving as a tapa, place 3/4 cup of the gazpacho in a small glass, gently skewer a pear ball with a wooden skewer, and stand in the glass to serve.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Victor Scargle for the Hazelnut Council, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

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