Yield: Makes one quart


4 lg. ripe tomatoes
2 each red bell peppers
1 lg. cucumber, peeled and seeded
4 slices levain bread, crusts removed and cut into 2-in. pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil*
2 Tbsp. Spanish sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper


Oven Temperature: 540-570 degrees

Flame Height: 3

Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a shallow pan and roast in the center of the oven for 10 minutes.  Turn them over, rotate the pan 180 degrees and roast for 5 more minutes.  Remove tomatoes to a deep casserole and continue to roast the peppers, turning as needed until blistered well on all sides.  Set aside in the same dish.  When cool enough to handle, peel peppers and tomatoes and tear into pieces, reserving any juices. Strain the liquid to remove most of the seeds and return to the dish.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

In a blender, purée the mixture in several batches.  Force through a food mill set with the finest mesh.

Adjust seasonings, vinegar and oil to taste and serve well chilled.


*Use a high quality, fruity olive oil for this.  And don’t skimp on the amount; it adds not only fabulous flavor but creates a creamy and luxurious mouthfeel.

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