Cashew Truffle Parmesan Cheese Recipe AKA Pure Vegan GOLD

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“Cheese never leaves,” my mom told 12-year-old me as she patted her non-existent saddlebags.

While the caveat certainly stuck with me, the promise of a little extra padding wasn’t enough to scare me off from cheese completely. But if I’m being honest, I do feel better when I don’t drown my pasta in parm or house a gooey quesadilla.

I’m a huge fan of Julie Piatt’s book, “This Cheese Is Nuts!” bc I love puns and nutritional yeast. And cheese. Here’s one of my fave recipes, for your vegan-cheese-eating enjoyment.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups raw cashews
1 tablespoon black truffle oil, plus 1 teaspoon black truffle oil for greasing the dish
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon chickpea miso paste
1 teaspoon lactic acid or fresh lemon juice

EASY PRE-PREP:
Place the cashews in water in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Lightly oil a 6 x 3 x 2-inch rectangular dish.
2. Drain the cashews. In the bowl of a food processor, place the cashews and pulse until mealy in texture. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, truffle oil, miso, and lactic acid. Pulse eight times, until the ingredients are well incorporated and you have an aromatic crumble.
3. Press the crumbled parmesan into the prepared dish, making sure you apply consistent, strong pressure to the entire surface until it becomes fused together.
4. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.
5. Remove the cheese from the dish by turning it over and hitting the bottom. You may need to use a knife to loosen the edges a bit.
6. Sprinkle over your favorite pasta or salads. Alternatively, shave off thin slices of cheese with a very sharp knife.
7. Serve over arugula and radicchio salad.

Reprinted from This Cheese is Nuts: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home by arrangement Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017, Julie Piatt.

Michelle Pellizzon