Enchant your family and guests this Ramadan and Eid with authentic flavors from Al-Andalus.

 

The kitchens of Islamic Spain had a culinary paradise at their fingertips with an expansive variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, condiments, and spices that they introduced into Europe and cultivated with their advanced and successful agricultural techniques.  This allowed them to create exquisite, aromatic, and complex dishes unknown to the region before their arrival. The delectable recipes shared here are still eaten today in Spain and in parts of North Africa in some form or another almost 1,000 years later, demonstrating the significance of the celebrated culinary tradition of the Spanish Muslims¡Que aproveche!

Ajo Blanco Cordobés (Cordovan Chilled White Garlic Soup)

Most people have heard of or have tasted gazpacho a cold tomato soup, but this lesser known cold summer soup from Córdoba is just as refreshing and delicious.

Prep time: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

•100g raw almonds (without the skins)

•250g stale rustic style bread

•3 cloves of garlic, peeled

•4 Cup of filtered water

•5 tbs extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish 3-4 tbs of apple cider vinegar •2 tsp sea salt (add according to taste)

•thinly sliced green apple (or cut into small cubes), cored

 

Directions:

•Trim crust off of bread. Add bread to a bowl and cover with water for 5 minutes until softened

•Using a hand blender or high speed blender, pulse almonds and garlic until pulverized. (Traditionally, a type of mortar and pestle would have been used.)

•Squeeze out water from the bread and tear into chunks. Add it to the garlic and almond mixture with 1 tsp of salt and blend until smooth

•With your blender or food processor on, add the olive oil and vinegar in a steady stream. Blend until you have a mayonnaise-like consistency.

•Next add 1/2 cup of filtered water

•Transfer your mixture into a pitcher and gradually add up to 2 cups of water until you achieve the consistency you like: more water for a thinner soup, less water for a creamier soup. The soup should have a somewhat creamy consistency and a pronounced tangy taste.

•Add more salt and vinegar if desired.

•Cover your pitcher with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 hours before serving. You can even prepare this the night before.

•When ready to serve, top each bowl with thin slices of green apple (or in small cubes). Serve very cold as a starter.

*Have a gluten intolerance? You can replace the wheat-based rustic style bread for a gluten-free version.