Almond 'feta Cheese' Spread With Herb Oil (Vegan)

Total Time
55mins
Prep
15 mins
Cook
40 mins

From the Fab Five list in the April 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. I never thought I'd have enough time to make vegan "cheese," but because this was one of the editors' picks I gave it a shot, and I'm so glad I did! Though it's called "feta cheese," in the title, it really is a creamy spread. I told my DH that it was an "almond spread" and he loved it! Asked what kind of cheese I used in it, and was surprised to learn there was none. The recipe is really easy, but takes lots of waiting time (not included in the times). I'm listing it exactly like in the magazine. But for the oil topping at the end, I think 1/4 cup oil is too much. Personally, I'm cutting it back to 2 tablespoons next time. Enjoy! Edited to add: The original recipe in the magazine says to bake it 200F for 40 minutes, but as several reviewers noted here (and I agree) it's better in a hotter oven. Try 400F and watch for it to brown. Baking is only needed to turn it from creamy to crumbly, so it's completely up to you.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Place almonds in medium bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Puree almonds, lemon juice, 3 T olive oil, garlic, salt and 1/2 cup water in blender or food processor for 6 minutes or until really creamy.
  3. Place a triple layer of cheesecloth in strainer and spoon almond mixture onto cheesecloth. Bring sides together twist into an orange-sized ball and secure with a twist tie. Chill for 12 hours.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment and transfer almond ball from cheesecloth. Shape to look like a 6" round of brie (about 3/4" thick). (Note, I just put it into a pretty pottery bowl and baked it. Then I could pour the oil on top and serve it. No parchment needed.).
  5. Bake 40 minutes or until top is slightly firm. Cool. Then chill.
  6. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil with herbs and heat over medium low heat until heated through but not simmering. Cool to room temperature and drizzle over almond spread just before serving.
  7. Spread on crusty bread or crakers. You'll love it!