04 March 2013
Cashew cheese and carrot
Cashew cheese has definitely been on my mind of late. What's not to love about a rich nut puree blended with herbs and vegetables? (Unless you have a cashew allergy, of course.) I decided to take advantage of our giant bush of oregano--the only non-citrus plant that is actually producing right now--and make a batch of cashew cheese with oregano and shallot. Perfect.
At first, I wanted to eat my cashew cheese in rolls, like I did with my raw zucchini rolls this past summer. I decided to use a beautiful yellow carrot instead of the totally out-of-season zucchini. Of course, carrot is quite a bit harder, and I found that my vegetable peeler only wanted to make the thinnest and most breakable of strips. So instead of making rolls, I cut thin slices of carrot and put cashew cheese on top of each. Maybe it's not quite as pretty a presentation (although I honestly find that arguable, with that brilliant yellow carrot color), but it's just as delicious.
I'm having a hard time naming this. Raw carrot and cashew cheese nibblers? Cashew cheese with oregano and shallot atop shaved carrots? Farmer's market yellow heirloom carrot with oregano-shallot cashew cheese and cracked black pepper? Sure, why not?
Farmer's market yellow heirloom carrot with oregano-shallot cashew cheese and cracked black pepper
1 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour or more & drained
leaves from four or five sprigs of fresh oregano
1/4 a large shallot or 1/2 a small one, chopped
1/4 tsp white miso, optional
1/4+ cups water
salt & pepper
a large carrot of your choosing
more fresh oregano and pepper to garnish
First, make the cashew cheese. Combine your cashews, oregano leaves, shallot, miso, water, and a mild sprinkling of salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse, scraping as needed, until the mixture is thick and well blended, adding a trickle more water if needed. As always, you should use a food processor for this if you have one. I used our blender, which was actually less frustrating than usual. Remove the finished cashew cheese to a container of your choice.
Scrub and peel your carrot. Slice it on the diagonal into oblong disks. Top each piece of carrot with a spoonful of cashew cheese, and garnish with cracked black pepper and an oregano leaf or two. Repeat until you have as many bites of carrot and cashew cheese as you like. Refrigerate any leftover cashew cheese in a sealed container and use it within a week.
These guys would make an amazing plate of hors d'ouvres for a party. Little delicious bites of finger food full of vegetables, nuts, and herbs? They'd certainly give the standard crudites a run for their money.
Hooray! Snacks for all!