A vegan appetizer even dairy-lovers will crave.
This mild, creamy spreadable cheese is perfect for crackers. This recipe makes quite a bit, but it freezes well, so you can make a batch, freeze it before crusting and use it with whatever spice mixture fits your needs. The spice mixture included in this recipe is an all-purpose herb crust that is perfect for wine and cheese parties. For a sharper cheese, add 1 tablespoon (18 g) miso paste when blending.
Herb-Crusted Cashew Cheese Log
For the cheese:
- 1 pound raw cashews
- 6 ounces plain vegan yogurt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the herb crust (enough to coat one cheese log):
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Add cashews to a pot and fill pot with enough water to cover nuts by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for one hour. Drain all excess water and cool cashews under cool running water.
- Add cooled and drained cashews and the remaining cheese ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender, and purée until very smooth. Stop to scrape down sides as needed. The final product should be the texture of thick, creamy peanut butter.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Place each portion in the center of a square of plastic wrap and wrap into a log shape. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to harden. This step is necessary to make the log firm enough to roll in the herbs. After it is rolled in the herbs it will keep its shape and can be rewrapped and kept in the refrigerator, as it is supposed to be a soft spreadable cheese.
- Mix the herbs together in a small dish, then spread them out evenly on a plate or another sheet of plastic wrap.
- Once hardened, carefully unwrap a log and roll in the herb mixture until coated. Serve, or rewrap and place back into the refrigerator until ready to serve.