Gazpacho Ajo Blanco
Ajo blanco means "white garlic." This tomatoless gazpacho is a specialty of Malaga, on Spain's southern coast.
- 3 cups cubed crustless day-old rustic bread
- 5 garlic cloves
- 10 ounces (2 cups) blanched whole almonds
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 1/2 cups cold water, plus more for soaking
- 5 to 8 red seedless grapes, thinly sliced crosswise, for serving
- Marcona almonds, chopped, for serving (optional)
Cover bread with cold water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cover garlic with water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes; drain.
Pulse blanched almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Squeeze excess liquid from bread, and transfer bread to food processor. Add cooked garlic, vinegar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Puree mixture until smooth. With machine running, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, alternating with cup cold water, blending until emulsified. Blend in remaining 2 1/4 cups cold water. Strain through a fine sieve until smooth, discarding solids. Season with salt. Refrigerate gazpacho until chilled, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Season with salt and pepper.
Divide chilled gazpacho among 6 bowls or glasses. Drizzle with oil and top with grapes, and Marcona almonds if desired, just before serving.