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.
- Place almonds in medium bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain and rinse.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.).
- Bake 40 minutes or until top is slightly firm. Cool. Then chill.
- 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.
- Spread on crusty bread or crakers. You'll love it!
Amazing, amazing, amazing!!! Just threw this raw into a lasagna in place of ricotta and it was to die for!! Thanks so much for this recipe - I will be using it for EVERYTHING!!!!
I couldn't be happier to have found this recipe - it's as amazing as everyone says! Mine turned out like a cross between ricotta and feta (my favorites!). Here's what I did: I soaked slivered blanched almonds for 21 hours, made the mixture in the food processor, then strained it in a strainer lined with a coffee filter (a great alternative to cheesecloth, since that can be hard to find). I only strained for 3 hours, and I'm guessing the full 12 hours would make the final product more crumbly and less ricotta-like (either way, I'd be happy). I put the mixture in two small ramekins sprayed with vegetable spray, baked for 10 minutes at 400, then 20 minutes at 350. This gave the cheese a nicely browned top that looked beautiful. I only had time to chill for 4 hours, then I turned them out and topped them with the olive oil and herbs. The presentation was gorgeous, and my dinner guests absolutely LOVED it.
I'm thinking of all kinds of ways to use this. To use the cheese in it's creamy form (unbaked), I would suggest using a clove of roasted garlic to avoid the raw flavor of garlic, and I'd also cut back the lemon juice just a bit.
I know I'll use this recipe a million more times, so thanks so much for posting it!!
This turned out very nice!! Such a lovely texture and the flavor was great as well. I served with crackers & carrot sticks. We tried some unbaked and think that was just as good!! I used two little ramekins to bake them in and they turned out great. I didn't keep them on the high temp the whole time though because they did start to brown too much. I would just recommend peaking in about half way to make sure your not overcooking. Made for Veg*n Swap 31!! Thanks so much WICC!!