My husband and I have been talking about trowing a little wine and cheese party for a while now, our discussion got me thinking about vegan party food options but especially cheese options to go with the wine. I did make a Jalapeno Cashew Cheese Ball recipe a while back but I also wanted an option for those who don’t really like spicy foods, just in case.
So this is what I came up with; an Almond “Cheese”, flavored with garlic and garden fresh herbs. This Garlic Herb Almond Cheese is;
Has a lovely woody flavor from the rosemary.
2 Cups Raw Almonds, blanched (see notes below on how to blanch if doing yourself)
1/4 Cup Nutritional yeast
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
4 ounces Plain Vegan Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, minced
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, minced
If blanching your own almonds; Place almonds in a large glass bowl, pour boiling water over almonds, let sit 5-8 minutes, drain water, rub off almond skins using a kitchen towel or squeeze/ peel off using fingers.
Soak blanched almonds in cool water for 4 hours- overnight. *Didn’t really notice a difference between soak time results, I prefer overnight just because I like to set and forget about it and then work on it the next day*
Using a food processor or high powered blender, blend soaked almonds with nutritional yeast, sea salt, vegan cream cheese, water, and lemon juice on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and herbs, pulse until thoroughly mixed.
Layer cheese cloth *I use 2-3 sheets* into a fine mesh strainer. Sprinkle extra rosemary and thyme onto cheese cloth if desired. Pour almond cheese onto the cheese cloth. Bring corners of cheese cloth together and twist until cheese cloth is snug around the almond cheese, then secure corners of cloth together with a clip or rubber band.
Place strainer with cheese ball in it on top a small bowl. Refrigerate 6 hours-overnight or until firmed up enough to hold its shape.
Untwist corners of cheese cloth and expose top of almond cheese, gently flip over onto a serving platter, then gently peel off cheese cloth *can form/reform cheese with damp hands if needed*
Garnish with coarse sea salt, minced garlic, and fresh minced herb if desired.