One thing that I find it extremely hard to resist (even though it makes me feel ill), is cheese. It’s just so good and there are so many different cheeses and flavours they’re all just so exciting. I do have a little taster every now and then, but generally I am trying to not eat it altogether which means coming up with some pretty clever alternatives.
If you read my Local Diary for January you would know I tried out Purezza, a plant based Italian pizzeria on St James st in Kemptown and I came away feeling inspired. A few days later I looked up recipes to make cashew but cheese as I had heard it is pretty easy, found one I liked, and have made it a few times now trying to get it right for my preference.
Each time I have made it I have added in another ingredient, the first time truffle oil, and next kalamata olives to add another flavour. The recipe below includes olives again, but feel free to omit them if you like, or add in something else you prefer (sundried tomatoes would be really good).
You can use the cheese on pizza, in mash, as a dip, or on top of aubergine slices to make parmigiana like I did below. When it is cold it is more like a smooth cheese dip, but when cooked it browns on top and gets all savoury and caramelised it’s yum.
1 cup soaked cashews (just soak them in water for at least an hour)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
the juice of 1.5 lemons
2 cloves raw garlic
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup kalamata olives or sundried tomatoes (optional)
salt and pepper
Add all ingredients into a blender and blitz until as smooth as you can get it. Some blenders won’t be powerful enough to make it super smooth but I have had it grainy too and it’s fine.
Transfer to a bowl using a spatula to scrape the sides. Refridgerate for at least 1 hour before serving and it should become a little firmer. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Have you made cashew cheese before? Any tips?