• Ajo Blanco with Slow-Roasted Grapes and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Ingredients

    Yield: 24 portions

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Almonds, blanched and peeled
      ¾ cup
    • Baguette slices, stale
      4 ea.
    • Garlic cloves, crushed
      3 ea.
    • Water
      3 cups
    • Extra virgin olive oil
      6 Tbsp.
    • Sherry vinegar
      2 Tbsp.
    • Kosher salt
      ½ tsp.
    • Green grape bunch
      ½ lb.
    • Sea salt and cayenne pepper
      to taste
    • Red grapes for garnish, sliced

    Method

    1. To make the soup: Put the bread in a bowl and add 1 cup of the water to cover. Let soak for 5 minutes until softened.
    2. Meanwhile, place the almonds and garlic in a blender and pulse until almonds are finely ground.
    3. Squeeze out the water from the bread and add to the blender; pulse a few times. Add the bread and blend to a smooth paste. Add enough of the remaining 2 cups of water to make a nice smooth texture for the chilled soup.
    4. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream, then the vinegar and salt.
    5. Thin the ingredients with ½ cup of water to the desired consistency. Chill until serving time.
    6. For the roasted grapes: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Toss the grape bunch with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat, season with sea salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the grapes are just starting to pop and are releasing their juices; remove and discard the stems and cool. Place the roasted grapes into a mixing bowl and add the juices from the roasting pan; toss to combine.
    7. Stir before serving into bowls. Garnish with roasted grapes, slice red grapes, and drizzles of extra virgin olive oil.
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