Cultured almond paste makes a terrific vegan alternative to fresh chèvre, the soft, spreadable goat cheese often sold in herb- or spice-covered logs.
Yield: 1 log, about 2 cups of cheese
Time: 20 minutes hands-on, plus a day or more to culture and set
- Vitamix or other high-speed blender
- rubber spatula
- nut milk bag or cheesecloth*
- wax paper
- tape or rubber band
- large plate
- 2 c blanched almonds**
- ½ c rejuvelac*
- 2 t lemon juice
- ½ t salt
- pinch nutmeg
- garnish: dried herbs (e.g., herbes de Provence); fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary); or cracked pepper
Blend almonds and rejuvelac for several minutes, until perfectly smooth. Add a little more liquid if needed.
Pour into the nut milk bag and suspend over the sink or a bowl. Leave to culture for 12-36 hours: the longer it cultures, the more tart and tangy it will get. If your kitchen is very hot, suspend it over a bowl in the fridge after 6 hours or so.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in lemon, salt, and nutmeg.
Lay out the wax paper and scrape the cheese onto it, using the spatula to form a ball.
Roll up the paper to form a tube, tape it closed, and refrigerate at least another 8 hours to set.
Sprinkle the garnish on the plate and gently roll the log over it to coat.
Set out with a cheese knife, or carefully slice into rounds.
* See How to make vegan cheese for more info and substitutions.
** I use "long soaked" almonds. If you prefer "short soak," you’ll need twice as much liquid for this almond chèvre.
Adapted from Chef Heather Haxo Philips’s recipe for Herbed Almond “Chevre” on Edible East Bay (visit site).
More: Vegan cheese recipes