A reader requested this recipe, and I am so happy I tried it.
Since going dairy-free, I haven’t been able to find vegan cheese. All of my dairy-free options are perfect for me, especially since I now have a Vegan Parmesan cheese recipe that I use on almost everything.
There is something special about soft-ripened cheese. What better time than Valentine’s Day to give it a try?!
The recipe only requires eight ingredients. The method is also simple: soak cashews in water, add seasonings and Cheesecloth for absorption, then chill.
It is necessary to plan for this cheese, as it involves soaking the cashews before chilling. The preparation is quick and easy, so you can do other things while the cheese is being made.
Lemon zest brings a tartness and brightness.
Lemon juice is acidic.
The nutritional yeast makes the cheese taste cheesy.
You can add salt to your food for flavor, and you’ll also get a little saltiness.
It would be perfect for a party or a romantic evening for two. (Cheese with wine, chocolate, and strawberries, anyone?). It’s best served chilled, but it can be enjoyed for up to two hours outside the fridge.
Spread it on vegetables and sandwiches. Spread it on soups. You can add it to pasta and salads.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- Two cloves of garlic, minced (each clove yields 1 Tbsp).
- Use up to 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- One medium lemon, zested
- Two medium lemons will yield about 1/4 cup (60 ml).
- Water – 1/2 to 1/3 cup
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Half a teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Finely minced fresh dill, 2 tbsp
- Cover cashews with water and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to soak for at least 12 hours*. Drain, return to bowl, and cover with plastic wrap if you cannot get them immediately. The berries will stay fresh in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours.
- Drain cashews and add them to the processor. Add the lemon zest, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt.
- Add additional water if needed. Process until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, adding more garlic or zing for flavor, nutritional yeast to add cheesiness, or nutritional yeast to increase tartness.
- Lay two layers of Cheesecloth over a large bowl.
- Then, using a spatula, scoop the entire cheese onto the Cheesecloth. Gather the corners of the Cheesecloth and gently twist the top to shape the cheese into “a disc.” Secure the cheese with a rubber band.
- Place in fridge to set at least six hours. Preferably 12 hours. Or until all excess moisture is gone and the form holds when it’s removed from Cheesecloth. The longer you leave it in the refrigerator, the more it will harden.
- Unwrap the Cheesecloth and invert gently onto a serving plate. As needed, reform with your hands or with Cheesecloth. Then, coat with some chopped herbs and more lemon zest. Handle it gently, as the jar is fragile.
- Enjoy with crackers and vegetables. The cheese will keep its shape for up to an hour out of the fridge, but it is best chilled. The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.