2011 Chardonnay – Almond Gazpacho

2011 Chardonnay  The latest vintage of Chardonnay has a bright apple and pear presence with hints of melon and peach. The integrated French oak provides a creamy quality and a spicy finish. Drink now or age 3-5 years.

Almond Gazpacho

serves 4

2 c baguette, crust removed, and cut into 1” pieces
8 cloves garlic
2 cups water
½ c extra virgin olive oil
1 cup almonds (skinless, blanched slivers are best), lightly toasted
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper

Take the almonds, and blend with 1 cup of the water. Pour this mixture over the crustless bread and allow to sit and soak for one hour.

While this is soaking, blanch the garlic cloves in remaining one cup of water. To do this, place garlic in water in a small sauce pan, and place over medium heat. Allow to come to a boil, then pour water with garlic over the bread and almond water mixture for remaining soaking time. Blend all this together in a high powered blender (vitamix works best to get a silky texture) or food processor until very smooth.

Add the extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper, and blend again. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, and blend again. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Chill for at least 3-4 hours before serving to allow flavors to come together.

Garnish with chopped avocado mixed with lemon juice and parsley.