Today was a great day to be in my kitchen.
This herbed almond cheese recipe was born, along with carrot pulp flax crackers, dessert, pies…and there were no complete and utter failures. Maybe my new-found food education has made me smarter in the kitchen after all.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this winning streak to continue. And I can’t wait to share all of the goodies I came up with today!
My day consisted of sipping tea and writing recipes, grocery shopping, playing around in the kitchen, and then tasting everything to discover that it’s all good. It wasn’t an easy day – the dishes alone were an epic beast to be slain – but damn was it satisfying to sit down at the supper table and reap the rewards. And now I’ve got a bunch of great food to share!
It all started off this this Herbed Almond Cheese Recipe. In school we learned how to make almond cheese, peeling the almonds from scratch, using probiotic powder and fermenting it and stuff. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but I didn’t really feel like waiting 8 hours for the fermenting process, and I also don’t have any probiotic powder. And as for peeling almonds, I came down on the side of “nah”.
The non-fermented end result? A super-easy cheesy spread that tastes great on crackers, as a dip or spread, on toast, whatever. It’s good eaten from the spoon, too. A little tangy, a little salty, and filled with the glorious earthy taste of thyme (best herb ever), it makes a great condiment to have on hand.
Or to use in a fabulous Thanksgiving main dish that I may or may not have concocted this afternoon…which I may or may not be sharing with you tomorrow. 🙂
The only thing that makes this recipe take a little bit of time is allowing the blended almonds to drain some, because then your cheese will have a great spreadable texture without being too watery or moist. So get this going in the morning, and when you come home in the evening (if you do the 9 to 5 thing), it’s ready for action.
Herbed Almond Cheese Recipe
Makes 1/2 (heaping) cup
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon light miso
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1. Combine the slivered almonds and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Line a few stacked berry containers with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and pour in the almond mixture. Cover the mixture with extra cloth, place something heavy on top (I used an unopened pasta jar), and put a plate underneath the berry containers to catch extra liquid. Allow it to drain for at least 3 hours.
2. Place the almond mixture in a small bowl and add the red onion, thyme, parsley, miso, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and garlic. Stir well to combine.
Enjoy as a spread on toast or sandwiches, as a dip for crackers, or in any of the ways one can enjoy an herbed almond cheese recipe. Kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator, the herbed almond cheese will keep for around 4 days.
Using plastic berry containers and a nut milk bag, I let this drain on the counter for a few hours. If you stack several containers together, it allows plenty of room for the extra liquid drain out.
If you don’t have these super handy containers, you could always place the cheese in a fine mesh sieve and allow it to drain into a bowl. Or you could line a strainer with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, and keep it elevated so that it can drain. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to put something heavy on the top to press out the liquid.
The almond mixture gets significantly more dry and awesome even after a few hours. And a note to those of you who don’t have fancy blenders – I don’t either. In fact, I only have a little Magic Bullet, and if that thing can pull of an almond cheese recipe, then anything can.
I chose to use thyme and parsley to herb up this cheese, but it’s open to interpretation. I highly recommend thyme since it’s the best fresh herb ever, but any’ll do. Try to use fresh herbs instead of dried, though – they really shine in this cheese.
The nutritional yeast and light miso color the cheese a pale yellow, so if you wanted a white color, just use salt instead. The flavor won’t be as complex and cheesy but it’ll still be great.
There you have it, the end of MoFo week one. It really flew by, didn’t it? With Canadian Thanksgiving right around the corner, the weekend promises to be a busy one, but the good, festive kind of busy.
And…tomorrow I get to jam with my band for the first time in nearly two months! I’m way too giddy with excitement. I’ll be singin’ until I can sing no more.