This nut cheese is amazing. I tell you before being a vegan I loved cheese on absolutely everything and everyone who knows me and has been to a restaurant with me in the past is aware of me having been every waiter’s nightmare – “Would you like some Parmesan – Just say stop when it’s enough cheese” – it feels like 10mins pass and the waiter’s eyes are getting bigger and bigger” after the cheese piling up on my Spaghetti or Bruschetta I then finally to the relief of the waiter do say “Thank you, this is enough for me” and he runs straight off and I can see his eyes roll. I blame it on the Italian in me. Those times have long passed now, however, I needed a substitute and that quick! I tried all sorts of vegan cheeses: Sainsbury’s ready-grated “Gary”, tried grating Violife myself, took the hours-long journey to Wholefoods on me and basically emptied their whole cheese shelf. Sadly, everything badly disappointed me on pasta (there were some great options for putting under the grill to make things like Pizza, Stuffed Veggies, Lasagne, Cheeseburgers or Mac’n’Cheese). So I started to experiment and can promise you this one is blitzed up in less than 5mins and tastes even better than Parmesan! Give it a try – I’d love to hear what you think!
|Prep time||Cook time||Total Time|
|5 min||0 min||5 min|
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 big garlic clove or 1 tsp garlic powder (I recommend you don’t use the pre-chopped frozen one for this)
- 1/2 cup cashews and 2 tbsp pine nuts (it also tastes great with cashews only)
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heat a small pan on low to medium temperature without any oil and pour the nuts in
- Keep stirring and add the salt to it (be careful the pine nuts do not get brown as they’ll become bitter – they should only be slightly golden)
- Peel the garlic and add along with the oil and nutritional yeast to a small food processor, blitz up quickly
- Then add the nuts and blend again for a couple of seconds until the nuts break down into tiny pieces (be careful not to over blend this as otherwise you’ll get nut butter
- Then add the oil into the water and pour in the hole.
After already having made the parmesan, I often take 6 tsp of the nut cheese out of the food processor and crumble on a small dish. I put pasta in boiling salted water for about 10min. Then I add 1 cup of basil leaves and 2 more tbsp olive oil, another big fresh garlic clove as well as 4 tbsp of the hot water the pasta is boiling in – to the rest of the parmesan into the food processor. Then, I blitz it all up give it a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. I add some cocktail/plum tomatoes to the boiling water for a minute before draining the pasta and tomatoes. Then, you have to be quick in order to eat it before the pasta cools off as the pesto has not been heated. I peel the tomato skin off and pour on each plate 3-4 tbsp of pesto, 2 tsp of the parmesan and some fresh basil leaved or rocket.