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Author Notes: Most people think tomato, peppers, cucumbers, onion and garlic when they hear gazpacho, but there's no tomato and none of the other ingredients in sight here. This version is my spin on Spain's classic white gazpacho which features green grapes, thickened with bread and Marcona almonds to a silky creaminess. I choose to pair only fruit, flavors and nuts which to me sound and taste really tropical. This Gazpacho served with the fried plantains will make a perfect first course. The key to an excellent plate of Fried Ripe Plantains is to ensure that the plantains are at the right degree of ripeness. The skin should be almost black or in some cases, have a dull yellow color with patches of black. The riper the plantain, the sweeter it is. Ripe plantains peel easily and cook up in no time. —Kukla
Serves 4to 6
For the Gazpacho
- • 3/4 cup Macadamia nuts, blanched +1/4 toasted and chopped for garnish
- • 1 cup water
- • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- • 4 Thai basil leaves
- • 2 cups ripe chopped peeled mango (2 mangoes)
- • 1 cup ripe chopped peeled green papaya
- • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish)
- • 1/2 cup medium dry Sherry wine
- • 1/2 jalapeño or 1/4 habanera pepper (if you can take the heat), diced
- • Salt to taste
- Combine Macadamia nuts, sugar or honey, basil leaves and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn of the heat and cool slightly. Place mixture in food processor or blender with remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sift to a bowl; season to taste. Cover and chill about 2 hours or overnight.
For the Fried Ripe Plantains
- • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and cut diagonally or round, into 1/4-inch thick slices
- • Canola or vegetable oil
- • Coarse salt
- Drizzle oil into frying pan just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and place on medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add plantains (work in batches), and fry for about 2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side.
- Remove plantains from pan and rest on paper towels. Continue frying in batches until all the plantains are fried. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt to give a sweet and salty taste to the plantains.
- To serve, chop the remaining 1/4 cup of Macadamia nuts. Stir the gazpacho, and then pour it into shallow bowls. Garnish with basil leaves, fried plantains, chopped nuts and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Warm Weather Soup
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mangoes