Garlic-Almond Purée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This mixture is used as a thickener. All of the ingredients except the olive oil can be puréed in a food processor until smooth. The olive oil is stirred in by hand at the end.

Picada can be used as a thickener for meat and fish stews and soups in much the same way as an aïoli is used to thicken bourride. To thicken fish soups and stews, it is best to whisk the hot cooking liquid into the picada in a bowl. To thicken meat stews, be sure to strain and thoroughly degrease the liquid before combining it with the picada. Again, the liquid should be whisked into the picada, not the other way around. For a perfectly smooth sauce, strain through a fine chinois. One to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 milliliters) of picada can be used to thicken ½ cup (125 milliliters) broth or cooking liquid.


garlic cloves, peeled 4 4
peeled and toasted almonds 4 oz 125 g
parsley, leaves from 1 bunch 1 bunch
white bread, lightly toasted, crusts removed 3 slices 3 slices
water ½ cup 125 ml
extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup 125 ml


  1. Put the garlic, almonds, parsley, and bread into a food processor. Purée for 4 to 5 minutes, until smooth.
  2. Add the water 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) at a time, and continue puréeing until the picada is stiff but no longer oily. Scrape down the sides of the food processor from time to time for an evenly textured mixture. Transfer the picada to a mixing bowl and slowly stir in the olive oil with a wooden spoon.
  3. Keep the picada covered until needed. It is best used the same day.