Let’s take an easy lunch idea to kick off this blog: cashew cheese toast with apple. This is a quick toast which rotates at regular intervals in our houseld. I stumbled upon this recipe for pepper-crusted cashew goat cheese years ago, and it immediately became one to stay. It doesn’t require many ingredients, and you probably have most of them at hand. If you lack tahini, it’s entirely possible to skip it (I’ve done it plenty of times), but if you do have it somewhere in your pantry, even if you have to look somewhere in the back of your fridge or cupboard, do include it. It adds a nice tangy taste and boosts the nutritional value of the spread.
Initially, I followed all steps laid out in the original recipe, but I soon felt that the hassle of draining the cashew cheese mixture in cheesecloth and subsequently baking it added fairly little value to the final product. To me, even though it might not look as fancy as a peppered cheese roll (which really does look amazingly fancy), the plainly soaked and mixed version of this cashew cheese will do just as well. It can be readily used in hearty dishes, quiches and even stews, but it does requires some advance planning, as you need to soak the cashews overnight. For those amongst you that are bad at planning ahead of time: don’t despair. There’s actually also a quick-soak shortcut: when soaking the cashews in boiling water, you should be able to mix them – without ruining your food processor – within 15 – 30 minutes.
I prefer this cashew cheese on a simple toast, with some apple slices, agave syrup, pine kernels and cracked black pepper, as pictured below. You might also opt for puff pastry instead of toast, and turn these ingredients into a hearty stuffing for puff pastry pockets.
(I don’t have a decent camera for the time being, so excuse the low quality image taken with my smartphone).