By the Gracious Vegan
It’s nice to have lumps of creamy, salty, sharp, soft white cheese on crackers or in sandwiches or salads, or on top of soups… There are so many ways to enjoy this feta-like almond cheese. The preparation is a bit fussy, but all the steps are necessary — I’ve provided ways to speed up the process so it doesn’t have to take overnight, unless you have the time.
Makes one 6-inch round
Place almonds in a medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak at least 6 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under cold running water.
1 cup whole blanched almonds (whole or slivered)
Purée almonds and the following ingredients in a blender or food processor (I find that the blender works best) until very smooth and creamy. It may take several minutes.
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, peeled
3/4 teaspoon salt
The next step is to drain the mixture of liquid. You can do it several ways.
Put a handkerchief (used for kitchen purposes only!) in a colander over a bowl. Spoon the almond mixture into it and fold the handkerchief across the top. OR….
Place colander over bowl and line it with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Spoon almond mixture into cheesecloth. Bring the cloth together and twist around cheese, forming into a ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine.
In both cases, you can chill for 12 hours, or overnight, then discard excess liquid. Or you can work more quickly and press the ball/round with paper towels or let the ball/round sit on the paper towels for a few minutes; once the paper towels are wet, replace them with new dry paper towels. With this second method, the drying out will take about an hour or less.
Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft), and transfer from cheesecloth to the parchment paper. Flatten to form 6-inch round about 3/4-inch thick. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill.
Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed (WFPBNO)
Timing: At least 10 hours