I hesitate to mention the heat, but that's my reality right now. It was 110 degrees yesterday, causing the death of people in Stockton, a town near us. So, the prickly heat all over my body and in my scalp seems very minor now. But, I simply did not want to cook anything, so once again I turned to my Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook for their grape and almond gazpacho recipe. Actually, I've seen several different recipes for grape gazpacho recently. It must be a trendy dish. I decided to fix this version before it jumps the shark or I receive a cease and desist order from Mustards Grill to stop posting so many of their recipes on my blog. Yes, I'm sure my influence is major and my tiny little blog reaches all the way to Mustards' ears.
I was intrigued when I first read this recipe because it calls for two pounds of green grapes. I wondered if it would be too sweet. But having confidence in Cindy Pawlcyn, the owner of Mustards Grill, I figured she balanced contrasting flavors to create something very refreshing. And she did. The soup is slightly sweet, but acidic, and delicious.
The soup was garnished with a few cucumber slices and some pineapple sage flowers from my garden. I served the soup with tomato sandwiches, but I think it would be even better with grilled chicken or meat. I had hoped that there would be some soup left over for tomorrow, but it was too good to last long.
Grape and Almond Gazpacho
2 pounds seedless green grapes
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/4 almonds, toasted
2 scallions. white and green parts only, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 large dill sprigs, minced
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
minced chives, thin cucumber slices, dill, sage or chive flowers
Combine the grapes, cucumbers, almonds, scallions, vinegar, yogurt, cream cheese, olive oil, and buttermilk in a blender, or food processor. process until almost smooth, with just a bit of texture remaining. Stir in salt, white pepper, cayenne and dill. Cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve in cold bowls and garnish..