A 4-ingredient recipe for Basic Almond Cheese that will make even cheese aficionados take note. You need this vegan cheese recipe in your repertoire!
This recipe appears all over the web, in many variations, sometimes called Almond Feta. My version is an adaptation of the Vegetarian Times recipe. The first time I made it, I knew the recipe was promising. I tweaked it slightly to get the result I was looking for and have made this basic almond cheese countless times ever since.
Cover it with minced herbs like parsley, dill, rosemary, and thyme, or crust it with chopped roasted walnuts or hazelnuts. Use this cheese as a topping for salads, pasta dishes, or pizzas. It’s crumbly, creamy texture and tangy taste make it a great all-purpose white cheese. Other dishes I’ve made with this cheese: spinach and cheese börek, roasted beet and cheese salad, and pizza with pears, arugula, and cheese.
Or, quite simply, create a smart cheeseboard featuring crackers or crostini, olives, dried or fresh fruit, roasted nuts, and preserves as an elegant appetizer for holidays or get-togethers.
- 160g or 5.5 oz unroasted, blanched almonds, soaked for 6 hours or more (If you don't have a kitchen scale, the equivalent measurements are 1¼ cups of whole blanched almonds or 1¾ cups of almond flour/meal.)
- 2½ Tablespoons (36 ml) lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ clove of garlic
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) water
- Soak the almonds in water for 6 hours or overnight.
- Drain and put the almonds into a blender with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and water.
- Blend on high until the almonds become as smooth as possible. Depending on your blender, this may take a few minutes. Pause and scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally. If it is too thick and is not blending, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture blends properly.
- When smooth and creamy, remove the mixture from the blender into a small sieve that has been lined with fine cheesecloth. Place this sieve over a bowl to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight. This not only removes the excess water, but also improves the flavor by allowing the flavors to marry.
- After the cheese has drained well overnight, carefully invert it onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, removing all of the cheesecloth. You have two options for baking: Bake at 325°F (165°C) for 25-30 minutes for a just set, more spreadable cheese. Alternatively, bake it at 350°F (180°C) for 30-40 minutes for a more set, more crumbly, yet still creamy cheese. You can even keep baking it longer at this temperature for a browned look. It may crack slightly but the flavor will still be great and the cheese will even be sliceable. I tend to prefer the hotter, longer baking method.
- After it cools down, put in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will firm up a little after chilling.
-Speed things up by using the same amount of ground almonds instead of whole or slivered. This allows you to skip the soaking step and blend immediately.
Looking for more cheese? Check out my Sharp Vegan Nut Cheese recipe! It has a cheesy tanginess and is as easy to make as this Almond Cheese. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.