Sweet Basil Cashew Cheese

My dad recently asked if I’m starting to miss New York, now that I’ve been in Texas for nearly a month.  I told him that, of course, I miss my friends, but that overall I feel pretty great about being back in DFW.  NYC will always be my home away from home, and I think the reason I don’t miss it terribly right now is because I firmly believe that I’ll visit often, and will always feel welcomed, there.  Apart from my amazing NY friends, I do miss one particular part of the city… The amazing farmers markets.  My last apartment was within walking distance of Union Square market, full of its beautiful produce and friendly, local farmers.  I also used to love running across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to Smorgasburg market on summer Saturdays, in Williamsburg.  At the latter, there was one vendor, in particular, that sold the most delectable basil “cashew cheese”.  I don’t recall the vendor’s name, but their nut cheese was perfect on anything from flax crackers to homemade pizza (or by itself, on a spoon!).  When I moved here, I simply had to create my own version of it, bringing back a little bit of my own experience of the city to Texas.  After all, New York cuisine is so much more than pizza, bagels and street meat… Enjoy!

Cashew Cheese

Sweet Basil Cashew Cheese

(Makes approx. 3 cups) – Paleo, Vegan, Low-Carb

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil, to consistency (approx. 1 Tbsp)
  1. Soak cashews in 4 cups of cold water for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Drain the cashews, and place in a food processor.
  3. Puree the cashews with the almond milk in the food processor until the mixture reaches a thick, “batter-like” consistency.
  4. Add in the basil, garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast, and puree until fully combined.  Drizzle in the olive oil, pulsing the food processor until the cashew mixture reaches a “ricotta cheese” consistency.
  5. Season the cashew cheese with salt and pepper, to taste.  Store refrigerated for up to a week, and enjoy!
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