I was tempted to call this recipe “Basil Cashew Cheese,” but I didn’t want to limit you. Consider this delicious spreadable cheese a basic foundation to which you can add any variation of fresh herbs or other ingredients. From The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.
The photo references my Strawberry Bruschetta — also in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge — but you can use this cashew cream in many ways, especially as a spreadable cheese. I served it recently for an afternoon tea party I hosted with my dear friend Kristie Middleton, and it was just perfect.
Yield: 1½ cups or 12 servings
Note: Because the cashews have to soak for at least an hour, you will want to factor that in to your total prep time.
2 cups (300 g) raw cashews soaked in 3 cups (720 ml) of water for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced basil
¼ cup (60 ml) water
Once the cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them in a strainer.
Place them in a food processor, along with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the machine, and let it run for a few seconds to start combining the ingredients.
Add most of the water, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes, turning the machine off periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding all of the water, I like first seeing what the consistency is; it’s always easier to add more than it is to take any out!
Salt, to taste. The consistency should be thick but spreadable.
For Your Modification
*Instead of basil, add chives, dill, parsley, or any combination you desire.
*Add finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives instead of or along with the fresh herbs.
For Your Information
It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.