For some reason or another, one day a few weeks ago I absolutely craved goat cheese spread. I don’t usually crave goat cheese, who in heavens knows why I was at 3pm on a Friday (um hello end of weekend cravings?), but it was stuck in my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew I had cashews and I knew that I needed to use some of the basil that I finally coaxed out after the heat wave. After doing some poking around, I remember Fork and Beans had a gorgeous goat cheese recipe that was not only vegan, but also gorgeous. There was a reason it was spreading like wildfire around Pinterest.
I was blown away by how amazing this spread/dip turned out. The one modification that sealed the deal for me was using smoked almonds (Trader Joe’s what what!) in the pesto. It was purely by accident that I used the smoked almonds, simply because I was running low on nuts and wanted to whip this up that night. Best. Decision. Ever. Seriously, get your hands on some of that smoky nut goodness (just..I know, that phrase shouldn’t be said) and make this pesto before I buy all the smoked almonds myself. Although this probably won’t pass as a straight up goat cheese substitute, I doubt anyone will mind since they will be too busy inhaling this tangy goodness. Weekend here we come, pretzels and dip on the docket!
- For vegan goat cheese:
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 2-3 hours
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- For the pesto:
- 1 cup basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup smoked almonds (or regular almonds)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the basil, garlic, smoked almonds, water, and salt. Puree until smooth, adding water as needed.
- For the vegan goat cheese: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine cashews, lime juice, vinegar and salt. Puree until smooth and blended, could take up to 2-3 minutes, adding water if necessary.
- Combine pesto and vegan goat cheese in small bowl, mixing thoroughly. Can be served immediately, but flavors blend better if refrigerated for at least 2 hours.