I had seen multiple posts about making a vegan cheese-like sauce from cashew nuts. Normally they are raw cashews, soaked and then blended with water, aromatics like garlic and onion, and a bit of miso for that cheese-like fermented umami quality.
(Umami is what is known as the fifth sensation of taste. When you were a kid, you probably learned about taste buds on your tongue that can detect sour, salty, sweet, and bitter flavors. Umami is a fifth “flavor” that has recently been discovered.
It’s sometimes translated as “savory,” but it feels more like that indescribably quality of a dish or food that makes you go “mmm!” Think mushrooms, soy sauce, miso. They have depth of flavor, richness, and that certain something.)
At any rate, I had never had occasion to attempt making one of the vegan cashew cheese mixtures until lately. In Austin for this year’s Herb Society of America annual educational conference, I tasted a wrap from a food trailer that had portabella mushrooms, olives, rosemary, and melted vegan cheese.
So after I got home, I wanted to re-create the dish without buying commercial vegan cheese. I attempted to make my own version of a cheese sauce and was very happy with what I got. I used this in the wrap with lip-smacking results.
Recipe: Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce or Dip
1 cup roasted, salted cashews
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon white or light miso
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend about 1 minute, until you get a thick mixture. You will still have some texture from tiny pieces of cashews.
Use this as is for a dip, or add another 1/4 cup water to get a sauce. I used the sauce in my wraps.
Sorry, no photo, but I’ll try to take one the next time I make this, as I am sure to do it again!