Who loves cahews?! In my last post, I told y’all how in a rush at the grocery store I bought pounds equivalent to the number of cups I needed to make my Cashew Cream Bars Mhmm, not the same. So here I am with boat loads of raw cashews (a small fortune might I add) and I began cruising the internet for cashew recipes. I used them throughout the week by adding them to stir fry, grabbing a bag and snacking on them, but you guys. I had TONS of cashews left. So I found a little something called cashew ricotta, the vegan equivalent to ricotta cheese. I say this with all of my heart…I am never going back to traditional ricotta! Well, that’s not true because if somehow I find myself on the streets of Italy I will probably get down on some real ricotta. But while I am at home, in my kitchen, doing it up and doing what I do – cashew ricotta it is.
I especially love adding herbs to this, it gives the ricotta a depth of flavor and gorgeous color. I could sit down with a spoon and go to town on this stuff.
Vegan Basil Ricotta
Serving Size: really depends how you use it
For example if you are using it to make stuffed shells? Then 6
Italian appetizer bites as seen below? About 18-20
Dip dee dip? As above, 18-20
Prep Time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 1/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened, plain)
- 1 block of extra firm or super firm tofu with the water drained
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 20 basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- Generous pinch of salt
- Few cranks of pepper
For Italian Ricotta Appetizer Bites you will also need
- 4 basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
- 1/4 cup sundried tomato, julienned
- 10 kalamata olives, sliced
- Vegan fillo pastry cups
Soak cashews over night.
First and foremost drain ALL the liquid out of your tofu. For those of you who are avid tofu consumers you know how important this step is in order to control the texture of your dish. I have found all you need is a kitchen towel, plate, and a good ole iron skillet. Take the tofu out of the packaging and drain as much water as you can. Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and place it on a plate. Put an iron skillet on top of the tofu and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes if I am using my skillet – or lets be honest, if it’s dirty – I will use a regular pot and put a couple of unopened cans of soup or beans in the pot to weight it down. This works just as well.
Drain the cashews and place into a food processor along with the almond milk, basil leaves, garlic, nice pinch of salt, pepper, and finally break in the tofu after it has hung out under the skillet for 10 minutes. Turn on the food processor and go baby go until smooth. Boom. You’re done.
To make the Italian Appetizer Bites
Spoon the cashew ricotta into the pastry cup.
Top with a sundried tomato, olive slice, and ribbon of basil. All done!
I also used this for a stuffed French Toast with slices of fresh strawberries. A-n-oth-er level of super goodness. I am not sure I can have toast any other way, unless I use an alternate berry or herb. Officially a stuffed French Toast fan.
Semi-embarrassing to put these photos up, they were probably some of the quickest snaps I have ever taken because I was dying to tear into it! While my eyes aren’t happy now my tummy sure was then; therefore I will semi-embrace these images as is. 😉
What creative way would you use cashew ricotta? You can either post your comments or questions below or to my Instagram profile @ctominerv; I would love to hear from you!