Watermelon Salad with Ajo Blanco (Spanish White Gaspacho) and kombucha
This bountiful salad is a wonderful Spanish / American cuisine blend that I recently created and would love to share. Ajo Blanco is a very old-school Spanish chilled garlic and almond soup. It's rich and creamy, though inexpensive and dairy-free. Usually this Gaspacho is served with green grapes or melon, which gives this blended soup pops of crisp crunchy texture and ever-so sweet grape fragrance, which is what got me thinking about watermelon. Start by making your Ajo Blanco, as you will need to cool it in the fridge before serving. If you are up for it, let it stand overnight in the fridge to really get the flavors working
- 225 grams blanched almonds (roughly a cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and cored
- 75 grams good white bread or stale baguette soaked in water
- 750ml (3+ Cups) Iced water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/8th large watermelon
- 1 washed cucumber
- 1 juicy tomato
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 tablespoons kombucha vinegar (long fermented kombucha)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by making your Ajo Blanco, as you will need to cool it in the fridge before serving. If you are up for it, leave it in the fridge overnight to really let the flavors meld.
- Blend your almonds in a food processor until they are as quite fine (3-4 minutes). You may need to push them back into the bowl with a rubber spatula as they clump and climb up the sides.
- slowly add 1/3 cup of the iced water into the food processor.
- Squeeze the bread of excess water and add to the mix.
- At this point, add your garlic. If you have a mortar and pestle, use it! Mash your garlic with a bit of salt into a frothy pulp, then add to the soup.
- Add the vinegar and the olive oil, salt and pepper, and the rest of the water.
- If there is too much water for your mixer, you can transfer the soup into a large bowl and stir in the rest with your spatula there.
- Be aware that the bread may make the soup quite stodgy. If it is so, keep adding ice water until the soup is nappe consistency, or just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- reserve and cool in the fridge.
- Peel stripes off your cucumber leaving some skin in tact.
- Cut the cucumber in half, and dice it as finely as possible. Add to a small mixing bowl.
- Take the other half, stand it up on your cutting board, and carefully cut a long, skinny, angular wedge. Then rotate the cucumber a bit and make the same angled cut. Continue to do this (imagine you are carving a large cucumber spear) until you have no more cucumber. This process is very similar to a roll cut or angled roll cut. Place this cucumber into separate medium mixing bowl.
- Wipe down your cutting board, then halve and core your tomato. Fine dice the entire thing and transfer into the small mixing bowl.
- Now cut the watermelon into 1.5 inch slices, and clean it of the rind and any white pith. take your end wedge (smallest piece), small dice and add to the rest of the finely diced mix.
- Add salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp 'buch vinegar (if you don't have 'buch vinegar you can use champagne or white vinegar) and 1Tbsp olive oil to the small mixing bowl and give it a quick toss.
- Take the remaining watermelon pieces and cut off long 'shingles', about a centimeter thick. This will give you a nice piece of watermelon where you can get to the seeds and remove them, and then cut it into long, angular wedges. Add this to the medium mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the 'buch vinegar and olive oil to your medium mixing bowl and lightly toss with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Wash, dry and pluck your cilantro into large plushes.
- Pour your Ajo Blanco into your serving bowl (s)
- Spoon on top your small dice mix, then arrange your large-cut mix ontop, vertically.
- Finish with sprinking your cilantro on top!
- Enjoy the taste of summer :)