We are always making cashew cheese of some sort in our house and this week I figured I would make a fancier version to serve at Christmas. Three adults and two days later and it was gone.
Although this recipe is easy to make, it does take some time because you have to soak the cashews overnight or at least 12 hours. Your cheese will also be firmer if you let it sit in the fridge in a cheesecloth for a day or two. The prep work and hands-on work is easy, but it just takes time for the cashews to work their magic.
– 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1.5 tablespoons lemon
– 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
– 2 tablespoons basil
– 1 teaspoon onion powder
-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
– 4 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
– 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
1. Soak your cashews.
2. Add all of the ingredients, except for the toppings, into a high-powered blender. Blend until very smooth. (Note: You will need to add a bit of water to get it going, but keep it under 4 tablespoons, adding only 1 tablespoon at a time. The more water you add, the longer it will take in the cheesecloth to firm up. So, add only as much as you really need).
3. Pour all of your mixture into the middle of a cheesecloth. Shape it into a ball using the cheesecloth. Tie the end to a wooden spoon or long kitchen utensil and hang over a bowl or pitcher so that it can hang and drain. Store in fridge for at least 24 hours. You won’t notice much, if any, liquid in the bottom of the bowl/pitcher, but that’s okay. It is still firming up in the process. For optimal results, let it sit wrapped for 2 days.
4. Carefully unwrap the cheeseball and reshape it into a ball. You may need to scrape off the cheese from the cloth.
5. Roll the ball into your toppings. You can serve right away or put back into the fridge to firm up more.
6. Serve with crackers, bread, etc.