COVID-19: For information related to COVID-19 (formerly referred to as “novel coronavirus"), visit

VCU Massey Cancer Center


Recipe corner: Farmer’s market gazpacho and chopped summer salad

Have you been to a Farmer’s Market this season?  You’ll find them in a variety of locations scattered throughout Central Virginia—including one in front of VCU Massey Cancer Center every Thursday (weather permitting) during the growing season from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. It’s located at the corner of College and Marshall Streets next to the North Hospital valet area.

You’ll also find that many grocery stores sell locally grown, colorful produce, too. The different colors of fruits and vegetables come from phytochemicals (plant pigments) which have antioxidant properties to help prevent disease and promote health. 

Take advantage of the variety of fresh, seasonal produce whether it’s from Farmer’s Markets, grocery stores or you own garden. Here are two recipes to get you started chopping those fresh veggies—a cold soup and a chopped salad. Keep your recipes safe by washing all fresh produce before cutting.

Farmer’s market gazpacho

Gazpacho is a chilled soup recipe originating from Spain. There are many different versions, but all are based on cucumber and tomatoes. The fresh cucumber taste mingles wonderfully with the other vegetable flavors in this refreshing summer soup. 

Makes about 8 cups.


  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3 medium green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) low sodium tomato or vegetable juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 2 cups of the mixture and set aside.

Using a blender, puree the remaining mixture from the bowl to desired consistency. (Blending in several batches prevents the blender from overflowing).  Pour the blended batches into another large bowl.

Add back in the 2 reserved cups of the veggie mixture.  Cover container and chill in the refrigerator to the desired temperature, then serve.

Approximate nutrients per 1 cup serving: 40 calories, 2 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 44 milligrams sodium, 34 milligrams calcium. 

Inspired by a recipe at


Farmer’s market chopped summer salad 

Eating the colors of the rainbow is easy with this recipe. Follow the recipe as written, or substitute your favorite veggies. Some vegetables, like the green beans and corn, are more enjoyable when blanched.  Boil for 2 minutes, then stop the cooking by placing in an ice bath.  The result is brightly colored veggies with a nice crunch!

Makes 5 servings (about 2 cups each).



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 


  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans, blanched
  • 1 ear corn, blanched, and kernels cut off the cob
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped


To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together for a uniform consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare all salad ingredients.  Place chopped ingredients in a large bowl then toss lightly with salad dressing.  For a different presentation, place spinach on a large plate and arrange chopped vegetables on top in different color groups as shown.

Nutrition information per 2 cup serving: 127 calories, 4 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 196 milligrams sodium, 99 milligrams calcium.

Inspired by a recipe from


[View Image]Recipes provided by Mary-Jo Sawyer, R.D., registered dietitian in the Outpatient Nutrition Clinic at VCU Health.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: June 30, 2017

View graphic versionView graphic versionView graphic version