Pear Basil Cashew Cheese
I love getting Harry David pears at Christmas, and this year I was the lucky recipient of two from someone’s overly bountiful basket. I also happened to have had too much basil that I desperately needed to use. Pear and basil are actually delicious together and can be found co-starring in many recipes, gourmet ice cream or sorbet, cocktails, salads, pizza — even pie! So why not a vegan cheese log?
You can make the quick, easy version of this which will be more like a schmear, or follow the steps to “cure” it so you have a sturdier consistency.
Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups cashews, soaked and drained
- 1 pear, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 lemon, juice of
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan, or sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 capsule probiotic, power of
- 1/4 - 3/4 cup water, as needed for consistency
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- 3 teaspoons hemp seeds
- Put the cashews, pear, garlic, lemon juice, salt and probiotic in a high speed blender (i.e., VitaMix) and process, using tamper to push mixture down into the blades. Add just enough water-- a little at a time-- to help mixture blend. Process until you have a smooth, thick consistency. Spoon mixture into nut mylk bag or cheese cloth and squeeze out excess moisture. Put bag into a strainer that is set in a bowl and put a weight, like a mason jar of rice, on top to help press out moisture. Leave on the counter for 24 to 36 hours (depending on your humidity level longer for dryer climates). Remove cheese from nut mylk bag and transfer to a bowl. Stir in basil, place on parchment paper, form into a log, and wrap. Allow to set in refrigerator for another 24 hours. Remove from wrapping. Spread out a layer of help seeds and roll the log onto seeds to coat. Slice and serve.
- Serve with your favorite crackers, chips or crudites, or use on pizzas, pastas or salads!