Ursula Ridens, a registered dietitian with Sharp HealthCare and Chef Bernard of La Jolla's Marine Room prepare vine-ripe tomato gazpacho.
Ursula: Hi, I'm Ursula Ridens, registered dietitian at Sharp HealthCare. Today we're going to be talking about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. We have Chef Bernard here from the Marine Room in La Jolla to help us to make a wonderful tomato gazpacho.
Chef Bernard: And we have my favorite ingredient — tomato. It's tomato season. This is a fruit by the way, not a vegetable. So we're making gazpacho. For our gazpacho, we're going to use diced tomatoes; you just chop it.
Ursula: Wonderful, bright in color and high in lycopene.
Chef Bernard: And then some red onions.
Ursula: Great flavor, and the garlic is coming next. Garlic is a great antioxidant for high blood pressure.
Chef Bernard: And some hot peppers. Now you're cooking. To this, we're going to add some beautiful organic vegetable stock and some sherry vinegar.
Ursula: Oh, fantastic.
Chef Bernard: You want to blend this to be chunky, not like a Bloody Mary — that's for later. That's it! It's as simple as that.
Ursula: The Mediterranean diet is known for being high in monounsaturated fats. This recipe includes two monounsaturated fats — the extra-virgin olive oil and pine nuts. So I can't wait to see you incorporate those.
Chef Bernard: Look at this, nice and chunky. This is very very simple to do, you have to try this recipe at home. Now we'll add some scallions for that onion flavor. The crunch will be your cucumbers that are seeded and diced. To this, add some basil.
Ursula: Basil is fantastic as it's an anti-inflammatory, especially if you have arthritis.
Chef Bernard: Then we'll finish with a little bit of pine nuts, just a bit on top.
Ursula: Here are these monounsaturated fats, and those really help keep our cholesterol levels in balance to reduce our total cholesterol and our bad cholesterol — the LDL.
Chef Bernard: Add a bit of sea salt. Not too much, but it's all about the quality of the salt. This is an organic sea salt, shaved, just delicious.
Ursula: While sea salt is little bit higher in mineral content than your average table salt, it still does has the same amount of sodium. So just a little bit.
Chef Bernard: Then add some freshly ground pepper. Then my favorite — extra-virgin olive oil. Now, just fold it in. This is just delicious for the summer, even the spring. Here in Southern California this is just amazing. Another thing you can do with this soup is add some crabmeat if you want to, and it would just be perfect. With this we will just finish with some basil sprigs, yellow tomatoes, a little bit of teardrop tomatoes and then some gorgeous sprigs of sage. After all, this is not only eating with a spoon, the first thing you do is eat with your eyes. And add a couple more pines nuts, and voilà! If you can't cook this at your house, just call me.
Ursula: This is a great recipe to eat a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Enjoy!
Chef Bernard: Bon appétit!