When the long and balmy days of Summer arrive,
it's a matter of moments before I daydream of my favorite Lady,
Her sun baked earth,
passionate dancer's feet,
Gaudí breathing from a balcony to a cathedral,
wine and olives
with my dear old friends, the Goyas...
I visit her whenever possible,
as she always makes me smile,
She brings me back.
and I am the Girl,
twirling along the Costa Brava, endless sunflowers dancing in the breeze,
stopping to stand in awe of Dalí and his works, with a tiptoe down to the secret place where his grave lies, whispering love songs to his ghost.
Wandering strange corridors in a nearly vacant medieval Basque village, where doors are windows and windows are doors,
to buy a shawl from a witch,
for the sea air is cool and salty,
and to silently ascend, barefoot, the grand staircase of the castle,
that I have known before
the stone welcoming me back,
if only for a while...
I offer you, my Beloved Ones,
a classic taste of Catalan cuisine,
(originally from the Moors of Andalucía...)
the Ajo Blanco,
with a Vixen's twist.
A white gazpacho, served chilled...
creamy, cool, sweet and spiced.
It is outrageously good.
Amorous Ajo Blanco
- 1 large garlic clove, or 2 small (keep the skins on-it's where all the flavored oil lives)
- 2 1/2 large seedless cucumbers (skins on!), chopped
- 1 1/4 cups whole organic green grapes, plus a few for garnish
- 3/4 cup raw organic unsalted almonds, soaked 8-12 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup packed dark greens, chopped (I like watercress or spinach)
- 1/2 cup cold pure water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Spanish paprika, ground
- Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper
- Dry/floral white Spanish wine (maybe a Verdejo or Airen?)
First, blast the almonds (save a few for garnish!) in a food processor or high-power blender, until they're super fine. Now add in everything but the spices and the wine, and give it a good whirl, until everything is mingled and creamy.
Pour it all into a glass container or ceramic bowl, add in a good pinch and grind of Celt salt and pepper, a pinch of the paprika, and a splash of the wine (optional, of course, but sublime), and stir it gently.
Cover, and chill a bit in the fridge.
When you're hungry, take it out, ladle into bowls, and garnish with chopped almonds and sliced grapes.
I love to serve this with a light Catalan salad: Fresh baby greens, grapefruit, and sliced fennel, with a drizzle of a gorgeous olive oil and citrus, sea salt, pepper, and maybe a handful of olives.
Carry her passion in your heart, always...
A su salud y felicidad!