Seasonal Appetizer: Cucumber Rounds with Raw Herbed Dill Cashew Cheese
June 30, 2013

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My mom is visiting, which means that I spent Friday morning frantically cleaning my apartment, doing laundry, stocking up on food, and–because cooking for my mom is a favorite past time–coming up with a tasty appetizer for her to nibble on after her train ride. The last time I created a dish for my mom it was my raw, vegan “deviled eggs,” which she loved and praised more than anything I’ve ever served her. Realizing that she has a penchant for nut cheeses and spreads, I though I’d whip her up something light and seasonal. In no time at all, I had a plate of cucumber rounds with herbed dill cashew cheese waiting for her.

I love cashew cheese at any time of year, but I particularly like having a fresh batch handy in the spring and summer, so that I can mix freshly chopped herbs into it. Rosemary, oregano, basil, chives — they all taste fantastic when folded into soft, tangy, salty cashew cheese, and each will give a dish new character.

My mom doesn’t cook a lot of ultra-traditional Greek food, but she does add Greek flavors and accents to nearly everything she prepares. Lemon, dill, oregano, tomato and olive oil are staples in my mom’s cooking, and because I grew up with these flavors, they’re also very common additions to my cooking. Dill is a particular favorite of mine, though I know it’s something of an acquired taste; I love how fresh and springy it tastes in just about everything, from lentil soup or salad to (vegan) ranch dressing to chickpea salads. Mixed into a simple batch of cashew cheese, it’s heaven.

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Cucumber Rounds with Raw Herbed Dill Cashew Cheese

Author - Gena Hamshaw

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews soaked 2 hours or overnight in water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed dill

Instructions

  • Drain cashews and rinse them. Add the drained cashews to the food processor along with the salt, lemon, and nutritional yeast. Pulse to combine.
  • Let the motor run, and drizzle water in, stopping a few times to scrape the bowl down. Keep blending till the cheese has the consistency of a light cream cheese (or whipped ricotta).
  • Add the dill and pulse to combine. Transfer cashew cheese to an airtight container. Will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
  • Makes 1 3/4 cups

I love the way the dill compliments the lemon in the cashew cheese, and the way the cool, hydrating cucumber contrasts them both.

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If you don’t care for dill, you can substitute any fresh herb you like. Feel free to get creative!

My mom was delighted with this little post-travel treat…and I was, too. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

xo

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Categories: Small Plates, Snacks, Raw

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    48 Comments
  1. […] Guacamole is easy to whip together – but make sure you make enough because it tends to disappear quickly. And you can always put dips on cucumber slices or crackers to make cute appetizers like Gena Hamshaw did here with raw herbed dill cashew cheese. […]

  2. Looks great! I gotta tell you, however, it’s “pastime” not “past time.” Spellcheck won’t fix these kinds of errors. Sorry, but this kind of stuff drives me nuts.

  3. I had to leave out the yeast (Thanks to Egypt not having a clue what it was), but it turned out great. Even my picky husband liked it. Thank you for this!

  4. Is the nutritional yeast absolutely necessary or is there a substitute? It makes me break out terribly.

      • Thank you! I’ll try adding more salt. I love miso but can’t have soy or grain based products either. Otherwise, these look lovely.

  5. Made this for a picnic yesterday and was amazing! I’ve never been a big fan of dill, but I’m officially a changed person! I’ll definitely make this recipe for parties in the future, was a huge crowd pleaser. Thank you!

  6. Babe, I got so addicted to the dried dill in your cupboard the other week. For some reason, I’d forgotten that dill can be delicious in non-seafood applications. Both via your pantry and this post, you be making my mind go hurrah hurrah hurrah whoop. x

  7. Dill is such a great summer flavour. I have a couple upcoming recipes featuring dill coming up on my blog soon!

    It’s so nice your mom and you can agree on how great cashew cheese is!!

  8. I love the idea of doing these! Perfect for the summer. I find cucumber so yummy and refreshing. Dill is also such an underused herb! Yum!

  9. This looks amazing! Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cashews and to most nuts. I can eat almonds and all seeds. Do you know if this might work well and taste good substituting almonds or seeds in place of the cashews?
    Thanks!

      • Almonds would also work after being soaked for at least 4 hours. I made ‘almond ricotta’ and it worked out great. Process is pretty similar to the recipe above.

  10. This is such a photogenic shot…just light and lovely! I am relatively new to acquiring a taste for dill, but now suddenly I can’t get enough of it…I’ve been adding it to my nightly salads.Along with fennel, these two herbs are tasting so fresh, clean, lively and have been completely reinvigorating my usual bowls of greens. I also love uber hydrating cucumber this time of year. Now, I just have to acquire a taste for cashew cheese…

  11. Dill and cashew cheese are two of my favorite things! How have I never thought to combine them?! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing and have a great time with Mom!

  12. This looks so delicious. Dill is one of my favourite herbs, but it’s tough to find here and my attempts to grow it thus far have failed! I think this means that I should buy some dill when I am in the US…soon!!

  13. that looks lovely! i have made fermented cashew cheese and i think i would use that and forgo the lemon but keep the salt and herbs. great idea!

    • I love cashew cheese all the more when I ferment it, but often skip that step because it’s time consuming. If you do it, let me know how it goes!

  14. Oh man, I must make some of these immediately–not just because I love cashew cheese, or because I don’t want to turn on the oven (although both of those are absolutely true), but also because I’ve been hoarding half a bunch of dill. This is definitely the perfect way to eat it! 🙂

  15. Looks amazing!! Did you use the cashews right after soaking? Or did you dehydrate them first? Thanks…

    • Hi Lee Anne! I edited the instructions to be a bit clearer. I soak them for 2+ hours, drain and rinse them, and use them right away — no dehydrating.

      • Thanks so much Gena! I always get confused when it comes to using nuts/seeds in recipes… Love all your posts 🙂