HERBY CASHEW “CHEESE” & GRILLED PEACHES ON TOAST

Regardless if you’re vegan or just don’t tolerate dairy, there is one common issue we all share!

WE MISS CHEESE!!

I think most vegans and dairy free foodies will agree with me on this. Finding a cheese substitute that is delicious is probably the even bigger problem. Most vegan „cheeses“ are soy based and really not that tasty. There is a Swiss based company that supposedly makes super yummy nut cheeses but shipping to Germany is outrageously expensive. The struggles are high as you can tell! So i finally decided to give it a shot and try making my own vegan nut "cheese" using raw, soaked cashews

One of my favorite dairy cheeses used to be a simple, creamy chèvre topped with floral Herbes de Provence, black pepper and Fleur de Sel. So that was my plan for flavoring my cashew "cheese". To start the "cheese" making process you have to get yourself either a cheese cloth or a clean kitchen towel, a food processor and a sieve. Then soak the cashews in cold water over night... I know that’s a long time but patience is the key to getting cheese-like consistency! The rest is just blending and waiting for the goodness to happen. You basically just blend all ingredients except for the herbs, black pepper and Fleur de Sel until get a super duper creamy „cheese“. It will be kind of like cream cheese at this point. Then you put it into the cheese cloth lined sieve, take the ends, twist and tie them with a rubber band and pop it in the fridge for about at least 12 hours. I told you patience is key! Then carefully unfold the goodness and top with the herbs, pepper and salt. You might need to reshape it a bit.

Now does it really taste like cheese? To be honest, no. It tastes a bit like a nutty spread or hummus which is totally ok for me and the most important part is: IT’S SUPER DELICIOUS!!! You can seriously make this in endless variations and it’s a great toast or salad topper for sure! Since it’s peach season and I had super juicy vinyard peaches at hand, i figured why not have grainy toasted bread, topped with this fabulous cashew „cheese“, grilled peaches and a rosemary, balsamic reduction. And yes, it turned out to be serious awesomeness!! The creamy, chèvre-like texture of the „cheese“, it’s saltyness and herby taste meets the sweet and tangy flavor of the balsamic drizzled peaches. Good stuff!!!

 

WHAT YOU NEED

 

For the cashew „cheese“:

 

200 gr raw cashews {soaked over night}

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1|2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest {organic}

1-2 tbsp water

Herbes de Provence

Black pepper {freshly milled}

Fleur de Sel

 

For the grilled peaches:

 

4 vinyard or regualr peaches

1|2 cup balsamic vinegar

1-2 tbsp honey {coconut palm sugar for vegan version}

2 rosemary sprigs

2 tbsp pistachios {roughly chopped}

 

HOW TO

 

1| Throw the soaked cashews, nutrional yeast, lemon juice and zest, salt and water into a food processor and blend until veeeery smooth. You might need to add more water for the right consistancy and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

 

2| Line a small sieve with a cheese cloth or kitchen towel, put the creamy cashew mixture in into it, twist the cloths ends tightly and tie with a rubber band. Put the sieve on top of a bowl and let it rest in the fridge at least over night.

 

3| The next morning/ day carefully unwrap the „cheese“ from the cloth, put it on a cutting board and possibly reshape it. You can shape into a ball or oval. Whatever suits your taste 🙂 Then add the Herbes de Provence, mill some black pepper and add the Fleur de Sel. I just added the spices to the top of the „cheese“ but you can also put it all over the sides too if you like a more intense flavor. Store it in an airtight container for about 3-5 days.

 

4| Next pour the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan, add the honey and rosemary sprigs. On high heat let it come to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low and let it reduce until you have a syrup-like consistancy. Set aside.

 

5| On a grill pan, roast a few slices of your favorite {gluten free} bread and set aside until read to assemble the open-faced sandwiches.

 

6| Carefully slice the peaches in rounds and grill them on the pan as well. Depending on the ripeness of the peaches, they’re ready in no time. So watch them!

 

7| Now it’s assembly time! Spread some of the herby cashew „cheese“ on the toasts, put a few slices of the grilled peaches on top, drizzle some of the rosemary balsamic reduction on top and finish with some chopped pistachios.

 

8| If you’re not drooling by now than I don’t know. So sit down with a glass of white wine and dig into the herby, salty, juicy, sweet, nutty and tangy flavors!

 

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