Is it weird for a vegan to suddenly obsess and browse pages of artisanally crafted cheeseboards for her newfound charcuterie habit? Because I’m pretty positive that I want to eat charcuterie style for the rest of my life. Between spending hot summer days outside at the farmer’s markets, sweating in the kitchen, or just generally ever, the last thing I ever feel like doing when I get home lately is turn on the oven.
Then, this week, I bought an amazing little wheel of vegan cashew cheese, at the farmer’s market. From there, I began to think about a flavour profile that could go with caraway. Seriously, it’s all I was concerned about all day on Friday-ask anyone I texted that day.Eventually, I ended up pairing it with olive baguette crostinis, Kalamatas, roasted carrots and potatoes, and a beautiful salad full of dill and red pears and maple balsamic dressing. Lavender lemonade to drink. It was splendid.
But then, I thought…what if I could make cheese with my own favourite herbs, and curate boards surrounding them?! So, a good friend and I trekked over to the grocery store, and gathered all the things to make this gorgeous Sundried Tomato & Dill Cashew Cheeseball!
Initially, it started out with a popular sharp cheddar cheeseball recipe striking our interest, and aesthetically it still looks all the same. However, we ended up tweaking the recipe beyond recognition and I actually didn’t follow the instructions at all, so I am going to share what we came up with!
2 cups of cashews
6 medium sized pieces sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill to taste
1/2 cup slivered almonds
-If your cashews are not already soaked, place in a large mason jar and pour boiling water overtop. Set aside for half an hour. Do the same for your sundried tomato pieces if they are not already hydrated.
-Drain cashews and sundried tomatoes. Place in blender, food processor, or a bowl for immersion blending, and blend until they start to become creamy.
-Add lemon juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until completely smooth.
-Add fresh dill, mixing in with a fork as opposed to your blending contraption.
-Set on a parchment lined baking tray, and place in freezer for 30 minutes, or one episode of Trailer Park Boys.
-Once your cashew cheese has chilled, you should be able to handle and roll it without WAY TOO MUCH STICKING TO YOUR HANDS AND MAKING A MESS. I don’t know how to better describle the consistency. On parchment, roll into either one large ball or two smaller ones.
-Place almonds on a clean piece of parchment. Roll your cheeseballs all over until they are beautiful and covered in babely almondy goodness.
-Enjoy right away, or place in fridge to chill until you choose to do so.
We enjoyed these delightful cheese with a variety of components; a rosemary crostini, pumpkin seed toasts, pickled veggies, kalamata olives, smoked tofu, and a variety of spreads including an antipasto, wild blueberry preserves, and sunflower seed pesto.
What is your favourite way to enjoy a vegan charcuterie board?! Any vegan cheese recipes you recommend?!?!?