The following recipe is from the May 27 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
As you can probably deduce by its name, Pensacola Gaspachee Salad is one of the more region specific recipes from Lari Robling's Endangered Recipes. According to Florida food historian Wilmer Mitchell, this salad was inspired by Spanish and Italian sailors who would make gazpacho and dip their hardtack into it. Although I've never given much thought to sailors eating gazpacho, I suppose it would do a good job of keeping scurvy away.
Somehow soup and crackers evolved into salad with crackers. In Pensacola there are dozens of variations on this salad. Robling's version is a crunchy concoction of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and bell peppers in a slightly sour mayonnaise dressing.
- Yield:8 cups
- 8 Crown Pilot crackers (one sleeve, 4.6 ounces) or 5 ounces hardtack
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Black pepper to taste
- 3 stalks celery, diced 1/4 inch
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced 1/4 inch
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, membrane removes, and diced 1/4 inch
- 1 medium Spanish onion, diced 1/4 inch
- Bibb lettuce, for serving
Soak crackers in water for about 1 hour, until completely soft. Squeeze dry. There should be about 1 cup.
Mix crackers, mayonnaise, vinegar, and pepper together. Toss with celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion and serve well chilled on lettuce.