Ajo blanco is normally made with toasted almonds but I’ve created my own version of eco-chef Tom Hunt’s recipe as made in the Vitamix masterclass. Hazelnuts have much less impact on the environment than growing almonds, and they grow in cooler climes. Whilst macadamia nuts are imported, their creamy texture allowed me to use less olive oil.
INGREDIENTS (serves 6 – 8 as a starter)
110g macadamia nuts or more hazelnuts
100g stale sourdough - soaked in water
600ml ice - cold water
2 garlic cloves - roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber - peeled and roughly chopped
150ml extra virgin olive oil - plus a little extra to garnish
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
Edible flowers, micro herbs or foraged leaves, ice cubes, cucumber slices
Preheat the oven to 180c/ 350f/ gas mark 4
Toast the hazelnuts for 10 – 12 min until slightly browned.
Allow the hazelnuts to cool and spread out on a clean tea towel. Bring the edges of the tea towel together and rub until the skins fall off.
Add the skinned hazelnuts and macadamia nuts to a fast blender along with the soaked sourdough and garlic. Blitz until finely chopped.
Add the peeled cucumber, garlic, sherry vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil.
Blitz until smooth.
Add a little water and blend until it is has a smooth, creamy consistency.
Chill until ready to eat.
Pour carefully into bowls, add some ice cubes to keep chilled and garnish.