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White Grape & Cucumber Gazpacho

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Serves four as a first course.

Yields about 3 cups.

  • by Fine Cooking staff from Fine Cooking
    Issue 51

  • 1/2 lb. seedless white grapes, well rinsed
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 2 scallions (white and light green parts)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbs. fresh dill
  • 2 Tbs. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (preferably white)

Put all but 4 of the grapes in a metal bowl and put it in the freezer. Tear the bread into chunks and chop it in a food processor until it’s reduced to fine crumbs. Put the crumbs in a small bowl, stir in 1/3 cup cool water, and set aside. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients: Slice the 4 grapes in half. Cut off and discard the cucumber ends. Thickly slice the cucumber. Slice the scallions. Slice the garlic. Chop the dill.

In a food processor, chop the garlic and 1/4 cup of the almonds until very fine. Add the breadcrumbs and cream cheese and process until well blended. Add the cucumber, scallions, dill, milk, vinegar, and the grapes from the freezer. Process until puréed as finely as possible, 1 to 2 minutes. With the machine running, pour in the oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the grape halves and the remaining almonds.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 230; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 390; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was easy and fun to make, but it's a little too zingy for my taste. It could be that I used too large a clove of garlic, but it seemed a little unbalanced with the scallions, garlic and vinegar. To tone it down, I'd decrease one of those ingredients. It's a good appetizer but not a filling main course.

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