This is the kind of dinner that looks impressive, but really only uses the most basic/essential recipes to bring together. If you haven't yet tried the components of this meal, definitely do so with this recipe! We use cashew cheese, roasted garlic, and our basic quick yeast dough on a weekly basis and have made them so many times that we no longer need to use a recipe to make them.
The tart is creamy from the cashew cheese and roasted garlic, savory from the herbs, and fresh from the asparagus and lemon. It's a weeknight dinner winner in our kitchen. :)
This easy non-dairy cheese is similar to the texture of ricotta, and its salty, nutty flavor mimics it as well. We'll sometimes call it "savory cashew cream" when describing it to non-vegans, because it works really well as a sauce/dip/topping. We always have some in our fridge to put on top of rice bowls or pizzas or tacos or pretty much anything.
- 1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
- zest & juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tbsp minced rosemary and thyme (optional)
- freshly ground salt & pepper, to taste
- Soak the cashews in enough water to cover them for at least one hour. We usually always have some soaking in the fridge, covered, so we can blend them up the next day. Soaking helps soften the nuts and makes them more creamy when blended.
- When you're ready to make the cheese, drain the cashews and put them in a blender/food processor with the rest of your ingredients. Pour in about 1/2-3/4 cup fresh water. The total amount of water will depend on how you like the texture - thicker or thinner. Blend on a low speed to incorporate the ingredients, and continue to blend until you're happy with the consistency. We like it more textured as a ricotta substitute, and more smooth for a pizza (or tart) topping.
- Store in a sealable container in your fridge. If you'd like it to be more solidified, popping it in the fridge for an hour or so will firm it up for use as a dip.
This is the most basic recipe, essentially. You could add other spices and herbs, or make it sweet instead of savory - but today we're using it as-is for the tart recipe below!
Place 2 bulbs (or just one, if you don't like garlic that much) of garlic on some tinfoil, then pour over oil until coated. Bring the tinfoil together to seal in the garlic. Put in a ramekin or muffin tin and roast on 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and the cloves have softened.
While the garlic is roasting, make the dough. Stir together the yeast & water and let sit for five minutes. Mix together all the ingredients until a dough is formed.
- 2 handfuls asparagus, woody ends cut off and discarded
- roasted garlic
- rosemary dough
- cashew cheese
- If you have thick asparagus, slice them in half lengthways, to make them thinner and easier to bite into.
- Spread out the dough on a baking sheet until 1/4-1/2" thick.
- When the garlic is done, let it cool and squeeze out the spreadable cloves. Layer it out on the dough. Spoon out some cashew cheese on top of the garlic, about 2-3 tbsp worth.
- Layer the asparagus onto the dough, leaving about an inch margin on all sides. Fold the edges over on top of the asparagus, to keep everything in. Add some rosemary into the pan if you'd like, for more flavor.
- Pop in the oven at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Spoon out some more cashew cheese on top for extra creaminess. Cut into slices and serve warm. Enjoy!