Every time I watch Annie Sibboney on the Food Network I get inspired. Her show "From Spain with Love" is a culinary adventure covering all regions and traditions in Spanish cuisine. A few weeks back I brought Spain into my kitchen for the first time with a traditional tapas dinner party. I'll keep you posted with all the delights we enjoyed that evening, but for now here's a delicious way to enjoy a refreshing summer soup and take advantage of cantaloup season in Ontario. Traditionally Ajo Blanco is made with blanched almonds, left over bread, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil. It's a perfect way to start dinner on a hot summer eve.
My version of Ajo Blanco / White Gazpacho
INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
1 english cucumber - peeled and rough chopped
1 clove of garlic - rough chopped
1 cup blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup stale (white bread with crusts removed) cubed
1 tbs sherry vinegar (I used Chianti vinegar b/c thats what I had)
cantaloupe (approx 2 cups) - diced into small cubes (or if you have a small melon baller even better) Honeydew melon can be substituted
salt - to taste
cracked pepper - for garnish
Soak bread in cold water for a few mins. to soften, then discard water and ring out remaining liquids before adding the bread to the rest of the ingredients. Add everything but the cantaloupe into blender (or use immersion blender) and blend until smooth.
SERVE: in martini glasses with a few tbs of chopped cantaloupe drizzle of good olive oil and cracked pepper.