I’ve always been intrigued by the raw cheeses (read: vegan and nothing cooked over 115 degrees) I’ve had a various raw restaurants. They look like cheese… and taste like cheese… but they’re made from nuts. Curious. I saw a recipe for a raw cheese spread and couldn’t resist trying.
It was surprisingly simple to make. Yes, it does take foresight, as you have to soak the cashews for 2 hours; however, it takes about 10 minutes once that process is complete. I liked the results. At first, I thought it was too sweet and buttery and garlicky… but after it had sat for 24 hours per the instructions, I liked it a lot more. It’s a great dish to take to a party with some delicious crackers. I tried it with some za’tar sprinkled on top and it was fab.
Raw Cashew Cheese
– 1 1/2 cups plain cashew nuts (not roasted or salted)
– 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
– 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or good vinegar
– 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– freshly ground pepper
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Place the nuts in a salad bowl, cover with fresh water, and let stand for 2 hours.
Drain the nuts and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 1/4 cup water and the rest of the ingredients, and mix until thoroughly puréed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl every once in a while. Add a little more water and blend again to adjust the consistency, if necessary; the cheese will get a little more solid as it sets.
Transfer to a bowl, cover, and let stand somewhere cool for 24 hours before placing in the fridge, where it will keep for another 5 days.