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Ajo blanco with figs and mint
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Serves: 6 as a starter
200g blanched almonds
2 thick slices rustic white bread, crusts removed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 tsp fine sea salt
1-1½ tbsp sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
2 big handfuls fresh mint leaves, plus extra to serve
4 figs, quartered
1. Dry-toast the almonds in a frying pan for 3 minutes until just tinged gold; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, soak the bread in 500ml cold water.
2. Set aside 8 almonds for garnishing. Put the rest in a high-speed blender and blend on a high speed to a fine powder, then add the garlic and whizz again. Scoop the bread from its water, add to the food processor and blend to a thick paste. Add the oil, salt and vinegar and whizz, scraping down the sides, until totally smooth. Finally, blend in the remaining bread-soaking water and mint.
3. Add more cold water (up to 150 ml) to make a light soup consistency and season, adding more vinegar if needed. Sieve into a bowl, rubbing through any lumps, then chill for at least 2 hours.
4. Slice the reserved almonds lengthways. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the figs, slivered almonds, a trickle of oil and a few small mint leaves. LH
This recipe first appeared in the Harvest section of Waitrose Food, September 2016 issue. Download the Waitose Food app for the full issue
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in September 2016.