Marinated kale salad, cashew cheese, spiced pecans with a lemon and honey dressing

Don’t be put off by the preparation required for this recipe – you will find it very rewarding and simple to dish up

Marinated kale salad, cashew cheese, spiced pecans with a lemon and honey dressing. Photograph: Emma Jarvis

Marinated kale salad, cashew cheese, spiced pecans with a lemon and honey dressing. Photograph: Emma Jarvis

Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 06:00

   
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 200g cashews
  • 150ml to 200ml water
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  •  
  • Flavourings:
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot or chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon and honey dressing:
  •  Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Olive oil – double the quantity of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Marinade for kale:
  •  300g kale
  • Juice of a large lemon
  • Spiced pecans:
  •  16 pecans
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chilli powder, a pinch
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Over the past few years plant-based cooking has become very popular and as a family, we find it very exciting. Discovering cashew cheese was one of our highlights and I couldn’t wait to put it on our dinner menu. This recipe was the result. Don’t be put off by the preparation required for this recipe – you will find it very rewarding and simple to dish up. You can always double the recipe for the cheese, dressing and nuts and have them for a later date, which is always a gift to the cook.

For the cashew cheese:

If you don’t have a powerful blender, soak the cashews in water for a couple of hours. Don’t leave them too long in the water as they will start to go grey. I like to leave the mixture to ferment until it has a strong cheesy taste, which sometimes can take up to five days.

 1. Put the cashews and 150ml of water into a blender and process for 30 seconds, or until you have a smooth paste. You might need to add more water, depending on the dryness of the nuts, so do this by eye. Begin slowly at first, then increase the speed to ensure you have a smooth and light consistency.

2. Break the probiotic capsule in half and add the contents to the cashew mix and blend on low for 20 seconds.

3. Put the mixture in a glass bowl (not plastic) and cover it well. Set the bowl in a warm place for 48 hours to culture, sometimes longer, depending on the temperature.

4. Add flavours to your liking, using the ingredients suggested above, or try something new.

For the lemon and honey dressing:

Add the zest, juice, olive oil and honey to a liquidizer, along with a little salt and pepper, and whizz for a minute. Taste and add more juice and or honey if needed. If you feel it’s not the juice or honey that is needed, add a good pinch of salt and whiz it again. Adding salt will bring the lemon and honey flavour through the oil. You are aiming for a sweet-sour taste.

For the marinade for kale:

 1. Remove the stalks from the kale and chop the leaves into shreds. Place the kale in non plastic bowl and pour the juice over it.

2. use your hands to rub the juice well into the kale.

3. Allow to stand for 30 minutes (no longer, as it will start to discolour), mixing every now and again

 For the spiced pecans:

 1. Put the pecans in a mixing bowl and add just enough oil to evenly coat them, making sure you have no excess. Add salt and chilli to taste.

2. Heat a pan and lightly toast the nuts until the aroma starts to fill the kitchen, making sure not to let them go from brown to black.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup and mix well. Allow the heat of the pan to continue cooking the nuts while you mix them.

4. Once they are cold, store the nuts in a sealed jar.

Plating up:

Take a large serving plate and pile the marinated kale in the centre. Spoon the cashew cheese around the kale. Pour the dressing over the kale and drizzle some over the cheese. Scatter the spiced nuts over the whole dish and serve at once.