Cashew Cream and Beetroot Crostini
These tasty treats will make a delicious starter for your Valentine's dinner. The sweet roasted beetroot combined with the hazelnuts and cashew cream is heavenly!
For the cheese
- 200g (7oz) cashew nuts, soaked for minimum of 2 hours or overnight
- 130g (4.5 oz) plant milk of your choice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Leaves from around 6 sprigs thyme
- Half a sprig of rosemary, stalks removed and finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the crostini
- Half a baguette (or if gluten-free, use any bread of your choice and cut into small squares)
- Clove of garlic
- Olive oil
- 2 large beetroot
- 100g (3.5 oz) roasted hazelnuts (ground but still chunky)
- Balsamic glaze and thyme (to decorate - optional)
- For the cheese, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth, and then pop in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(fan)/350°F/Gas 4.
- Use pre-cooked beetroot or wrap the fresh beetroot in foil and place in the oven for an hour until soft. When they're cool, rub off their skins and set aside.
- To roast the hazelnuts, place them on a baking tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to over-roast them so check them after 7 minutes. To remove their skins, place them in a clean tea towel and rub vigorously. Grind them but leave them chunky, not powdered.
- Cut the baguette into 12 slices, 1cm thick.
- Rub with the garlic clove carefully on one side and drizzle with olive oil.
- Either place into the oven for 10 minutes or until golden or use a griddle pan on both sides to get a nice charred effect.
- Place a good spoonful of the cream cheese onto each piece of bread followed by a couple of small but chunky slices of beetroot, a sprinkling of hazelnuts and thyme sprigs. Option to drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Remember that the fresh herbs will turn the cheese slightly green, so use dried or
slightly less if you don't want this colour!