The Conscious Cook’s Herbed Cashew Cheese Baguette with Tomato and Watercress Recipe & Review

Thanks to Tal Ronnen, we can now make fake cheese at home with cashews.  The recipe for this non-dairy, vegan cheese is in Ronnen’s book, “The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.”  I made this one afternoon when one of my lactose intolerant friends was coming over, and not only does it look like a slice of fresh mozzarella, it tastes great (especially for non-dairy, vegan, vegetarian cheese made out of cashews!!!)  Here is Tal Ronnen’s recipe for Herbed Cashew Cheese on a baguette with tomato and watercress (plus my comments and changes):

Ingredients for Vegan Cashew Cheese:
– 2 cups whole raw cashews (no cashew pieces because they are too dry and not creamy enough)
– 1 tsp New Chapter All-Flora probiotic (powder from 6 capsules)
– 1 TB nutritional yeast flakes
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 TB onion powder
– 1/2 tsp white pepper
– 2 TB tarragon, chopped (I actually used basil in place of the tarragon)
– 2 TB chives, chopped
– pepper
– Dash of nutmeg, grated

Other Sandwich Ingredients:
– 1 cup watercress
– French Baguettes (I used Italian Baguettes, but who is counting?)
– 4 Roma Tomatoes (I used heirloom tomatoes cut into slices)
– 2 TB olive oil
– salt and pepper

1.  Cover the cashews with cold water in a bowl and let it sit overnight.
2.  Mix together the teaspoon of New Chapter All-Flora probiotic powder in 2 TB of water.
3.  Drain the cashew nuts and put them in a blender with the probiotic powder mixture.  Blend until super smooth (a Vita-Mix blender works very well for this).
4.  Cover the bottom of a sieve with a few layers of rinsed (and wrung dry) cheesecloth.  Pour the cashew nut mixture into the cheesecloth.  Fold the layers of cheesecloth to cover the top of the vegan cheese.  Place the sieve and cheesecloth holding the cashew cheese over a bowl.  Put some bricks on top of the cheesecloth.  Let the cashew cheese stand in a warm area for about 14 hours.
5.  Remove the cheesecloth and put it into a bowl.  Mix in the onion powder, nutritional yeast, white pepper, salt and nutmeg.
6.  Form a 2 inch log on a piece of parchment paper and put it in the fridge until firm (a few hours, or best is overnight)
7.  Put the tarragon (or basil in my case) and chives, and pepper on a plate.  Take out the log of cheese and roll it in the plate of herbs.
8.  Cut the cheese into slices and serve on baguettes with tomato, watercress, a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and your cashew cheese.

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