I’m always experimenting with sauces and I am so excited to share this dairy-free sauce recipe with you. It is divine!
This recipe was inspired by an ajo blanco sauce recipe I read in the October 2018 edition of bon appétit magazine. I love this magazine, by the way.
An ajo blanco sauce is a vinaigrette that is made with garlic, blanched almonds, vinegar and olive oil. I was intrigued by the use of blanched almonds in this recipe. Because the almonds are blanched, it takes no time to blend them into a creamy vinaigrette. That’s a brilliant time-saving idea! This isn’t a vinaigrette recipe; it’s a savoury nut cream sauce and it’s really delicious.
The other source of inspiration for this garlic nut cream sauce, was a meal we had this summer at L’imbuto, a Michelin star restaurant, in Lucca, Italy. We had a fish course there that was served with a creamy white sauce that was made with pine nuts. I’m guessing it had some cream and butter in it too. Since we had that incredible meal, I’ve been wanting recreate that pine nut cream sauce.
This recipe was inspired by these two separate recipes. I decided not to use any dairy in this variation, so it’s vegan, keto, whole30 and paleo compliant. I’m really happy with it. It’s not only a great sauce to accompany fish, it would also be a great pairing for asparagus and other vegetables.
Once the sauce is made, set it aside. Cook the salmon in a pan with a little vegetable oil for three to four minutes on each side on medium heat. Start with the skin side down first. Once the salmon is cooked, set aside and cover with tin foil. Cook the asparagus and shiitake mushrooms in the same pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with the garlic nut cream sauce and some toasted sliced almonds.
Garlic Nut Cream
- 1 clove grated garlic
- 1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
Allow the nuts to soak in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain water. Rinse the nuts in cold water.
Put the nuts in the blender with the vegetable stock. Blend until smooth.
Pour the contents of the blender into a sauce pan. Add the grated garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Cook the sauce on low heat for just a few minutes. The sauce will reduce a little. If it gets too thick, add a little more stock to thin it out a little. Taste for salt. Add more salt if necessary.
The sauce can be prepared in advance. It will firm up in the fridge, so you may need to add a little more stock when you warm it up the next day.