White Gazpacho (Ajo Blanco)
This is so cooling and vibrant on a hot summer day. There are other versions of Ajo Blanco on this site, but this is my version. I think as close to the traditional version as you can get but without the white bread the Spanish normally add! I spend alot of time in Spain where this dish is a classic and takes advantage of the wonderful wonderful almonds they have there. Traditionally, the Spanish use blanched almonds, but I prefer them in their natural state of course. This dish tastes better the longer you leave it and after two days, taste fabulous.
2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
4 cups of ice cold water
3 garlic cloves crushed to a paste
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar (not raw), but replace with either lemon juice or raw cider vinegar if preferred
Half a cup of white seedless grapes, cut in half
salt and black pepper
Blend the almonds, garlic and half of the water in the food processor until you get a smooth thick cream and the almonds are fully blended. Add the remainder of the water and olive oil. You should now have the consistency of single cream. Transfer to a bowl or jug and add the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Chill thoroughly before serving. When serving, pour into bowls and add the grapes on top plus a little more olive oil.