Dec 25, 2008

Cashew Cheese Skewers

Ok, what is up with guys being squeamish about the words "balls" and "nuts" when it comes to food? I suppose the term "nut cheese" really is off-putting... if you think of it that way! All the guys around here apparently do, and cringe accordingly whenever I offer them some. So instead of calling these "Nut Cheese Skewers," which is probably even worse, I have again chosen a more politically correct route for the sake of the delicate male psyche. Inspired by the Tree Nut Cheese folks on the East Coast, which we don't get over here in California, I found this recipe for Brazil Nut Cheese originally printed in Vegetarian Times. I didn't have any Brazil nuts, although they are on my list for the next batch. So I subbed cashews, which are my favorite. I did alter the recipe and method to avoid having to squeeze the mixture, which I found messy and unnecessary. The outcome is a wonderful soft pliable cheese that can easily be formed into... ok, I'm going to say it- balls! (hehe). Anyway, they taste amazing, and even pleased my parents, brother, and sister-in-law, who are non-vegans. You can also do a nice herbed cheese log and serve it with a spreading knife and crackers.

Makes a LOT of skewers as shown in the picture, or one softball-sized log.


1 1/3 C. raw cashews
1 T. lemon juice
2 1/2 T. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. water

container of grape tomatoes
bunch of fresh basil leaves


Soak the cashews in water overnight, or until they've plumped and softened. Drain nuts and process with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and water until smooth- let it run for awhile to get that extra creamy texture. Taste, and add more salt if you like. Next, transfer the mixture to a 1-qt. souffle pan or small loaf pan that has been oiled. Place that pan onto a sheet pan that has been filled half-way up with hot water and bake for 25-30 minutes at 300 degrees. It's done when it starts to crack, and will form a thin crust on top (and sides). Remove from oven and stir well. Then let it cool down. You can keep it in the fridge and make the skewers later if you like. Spoon a small amount of it and roll it with your fingers to shape and squeeze it to make it more dense. Carefully put them on the skewers (or longer toothpicks if you can find them), and layer a basil leaf and tomato. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


  1. Wow, those nutballs look amazing!

  2. These sound amazing! Two of my favorites... cheese and cashews.