Not this blog!
First, I have to tell you all about the fantastic ajo blanco pictured at left in our vintage ’80’s wedding china. This is a traditional Spanish white gazpacho, made like red gazpacho with bread, garlic, vinegar and olive oil but with a base of blanched almonds and water instead of ripe tomatoes. It is incredibly easy and satisfying to make if you have a good blender. As the almonds, soaked bread and garlic blend, you add the oil in a thin stream until it makes an appealing blop, blop, blop sound like dough (or perhaps a flabby stomach) being slapped. Then you add water, vinegar and salt and puree until smooth. Just before you put the soup into the fridge to chill and develop its flavors, you add peeled or sliced green or muscat grapes. This soup has a sexy texture that sits on the tongue and an appealing juggling of flavors that work together better than you ever imagine they would. The recipe, adapted from Spain Recipes, is below.
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And, now, the recipe:
Combine the almonds, bread, and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the olive oil until a smooth paste is formed.
Add in the cold water and the vinegar. Process until the mixture is thin and smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Float the grapes on the top of the soup. Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator.
To serve, pour the soup into individual soup bowls and garnish with the toasted almond slivers and chopped parsley, if desired.