A dining moment: The first time I had Michelle Bernstein’s gazpacho at Michy’s in Miami.  Unlike any gazpacho I had ever tasted, I never could have guessed its unique blend of ingredients.   Which is why I was so happy to eventually find the recipe on the web.   Incredibly simple to make, as no cooking is required, just a blender- it makes for a great first course when entertaining.  The Marcona almonds are completely lush and special, while the cucumbers and grapes add a lightness and spritz.  I love, love, love this dish- as much for its taste as its uniqueness.  Serve it at dinner party, it won’t go unnoticed.

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cup Spanish Marcona almonds (salted)
½ teaspoon fresh, peeled garlic
½ tablespoon peeled shallot
2 cups cucumbers, (English, if available), peeled and chopped
2 cups seedless green grapes
1-tablespoon fresh dill
1 ½ cups cold vegetable broth
½ cup excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
1-tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons dry sherry wine
Salt and Black pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

1. In a blender, add the almonds, garlic, shallot, cucumber, grapes, dill and broth and puree until very smooth.

2. While blender is running, add the vinegar, sherry wine, and drizzle in the olive oil.

3. Place finished soup in the cooler until chilled.

4. Serve with a garnish of sliced grapes, crushed almonds and dill.

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