Friday, March 23, 2007

Ajo Blanco - White Gazpacho

Stale bread is something that we, more often than not, throw away rather than use. Rather a waste considering most cultures see the ingredient feature in some of their most classic dishes such as Bread and Butter Pudding, Pain Perdu and Panzanella to name but a few. Then there's the Spanish dish of Ajo Blanco or White Gazpacho that I'll be making today.

stale bread

The bread I'll be using is this lovely piece of stale Ciabatta - yes, it's an Italian bread in a Spanish dish but I don't think that should matter. What you want is a good quality bread, something with character. Ajo Blanco couldn't be simpler to make - it's a mix of blanched almonds, garlic and bread to which olive oil and sherry vinegar is added before being thinned with water. Chill for a few hours then serve with slices of grapes. It's the ideal no-fuss starter or as I've opted to do, an eye-catching shot.

ajo blanco shots

Ajo Blanco/White Gazpacho

100 grams stale white bread, crusts removed
60 grams blanched almonds
2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
1 - 1½ cups cold water
sliced grapes, to serve

  • Place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground.

  • Soak the bread in cold water and when softened, squeeze to remove excess water and add to processor along with the garlic. Process until combined and then add 1/2 cup water to obtain a smooth mixture.

  • With the motor running, trickle in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time - similar process to making mayonnaise. When all the oil has been added, trickle in the sherry vinegar.

  • Pour this out into a bowl and whisk in enough water to give it the consistency of cream. Taste and if necessary add a little more vinegar.

  • Chill for a few hours before serving.

ajo blanco or white gazpacho

The traditional garnish are slices of grapes - I quite like the red skinned variety, they provide a lovely contrast to the creamy white soup.

ajo blanco or white gazpacho

Tagged :


  1. that is totally stunning!
    The presentation - wow - I am speechless.
    I always have those ingredients in my household.
    The trouble is I am not sure if it is yet quite warm enough for cold soup.

  2. Thanks Sam - if it's warm enough for white wine it's probably okay weather for this soup. Just served as a shot it's gets the taste buds working.

  3. Just beautiful. Your cooking is inspirational :)

  4. what a neat recipe! i've never seen bread used like this, i'd love to try it. beautiful presentations too :)

  5. I have heard of white gazpacho but have never tried it- your's looks beautiful. Sounds like a great summer tapas!

  6. Thank you Truffle, that is kind of you!

    Thanks Aria - the beauty of a dish like this is in it's approachability, it's made with ingredients that we usually have.

    Thanks Deborah - it would be ideal as part of a tapas selection.

  7. Oh my goodness so pretty!

  8. Okay, I give in, I'm dying of curiosity to find out how this tastes. Guess I'd better make it!

    Lovely use of candleholders as bowls! That's creative and beautiful.

  9. Thanks Danielle - they certainly cause a reaction when you offer them to your guests and they are just the right size to get those taste buds tingling. I hope you enjoy the Ajo Blanco!

  10. I'm a bit late to the party, I know - followed a link from Sam's blog to get this recipe (without which, by all accounts, my life won't be complete!). I can't believe how simple this is to make - where was this recipe for my last dinner party?! I am definitely makign a note of it for the next one though. And what inspired styling for your photos...

  11. Thanks Jeanne - it's so simple it's almost wrong but the taste is something that is hard to imagine. Hope you enjoy it!

  12. matt at Uovo in the east village made the best ajo blanco on the planet. too bad the place is closed

  13. Hi Anon, maybe this is a good opportunity to try making it for yourself.

  14. I love the photos...just brilliant, really inspires you to have a go and make the dish - in fact they are better than the photos in the food pages of the Sunday supplement of El PaĆ­s (a very well-respected Spanish broadsheet for readers who don't it)

  15. Thank you Hodgepodge, that is very kind of you.


© Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once | All rights reserved.