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Lavender Nut Chevre Stuffed Apricots (raw vegan paleo)

lavender nut chevre stuffed apricots by jarOhoney.com

LAVENDER NUT CHEVRE STUFFED APRICOTS (raw vegan paleo)

APRICOTS! Yes will say it again… APRICOTS! Oh this is one of my favorite stone fruits for sure; next to all the others- but we will get to that at a later date. Who doesn’t love apricots, especially ripe ones? OK, for those who do not, please stop reading or open your minds and give them a try. These little fruits are bursting with flavor and are one of those fruits that can be enjoyed sweet or savory. I think I have had apricots in just about every recipe imaginable. One all time favorite is chevre stuffed apricots as an antipasto. Since this busy-bee does not indulge in animal cheese like this but once or twice a year, I decided to create a cashew chevre to stuff them with. It still has the smooth texture and tanginess that we all crave in an artisan chevre, but is made with raw cashews instead. I know some of you have seen my other nut cheese recipes and they seem to take FOREVER to make… this one is almost instant gratification- so no worries. Yep, it only takes about a half hour to complete it’s transformation- not 5 days like the others- but it still has amazing flavor and texture. The other flavor that will probably surprise you in this recipe is the fresh lavender I used. Most of us think of lavender as in tea or bath products, yes it tastes as good as it smells! Fresh lavender adds a light floral yet earthy flavor to the cheese and compliments the sweetness of the ripe apricots very nicely. I happened to find some organic EDIBLE lavender (yes there is a difference) at the market and thought it would be the perfect herb/edible flower to use in this recipe. I even use a little bit of the green leaves to give it a punch… INTRIGUED? well keep reading. This recipe is a great antipasti, appetizer, replacement for a salad course or even a savory dessert if you like. Eat well my friend!

A CHEF’S TIP: be sure to pick ripe organic apricots that are free from soft spots and blemishes. If they are not ripe, put them in a brown paper bag with an apple (my favorite ripening trick) and check every 12 hours for the perfect ripeness.The apple will be fine to eat after it has helped the apricots ripen! Also be sure that the lavender is the EDIBLE kind and organic, NOT ornamental!

SERVES 6

14 ripe organic apricots

1 1/2 cups whole raw organic cashews

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 teaspoon raw organic apple cider vinegar

1 medium ripe organic lemon

2 tablespoons fresh fine chopped organic edible lavender flowers

1 tablespoon fresh fine chopped organic edible lavender leaves

In your food processor, fine grind the cashews to a fine powder. Add to a medium mixing bowl, stir in the water and blend well. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and mix well, allow to rest for 15 minutes. Zest and juice the lemon into the bowl and mix well, set aside. Wash your apricots well. Now halve lengthwise and pit. Fine dice 2 whole apricots and add this to the bowl and mix well. Add half of the chopped flowers to this mix (reserve the other half for garnish) and all of the chopped leaves to the mix, blend well– this is your chevre mix. Use a melon baller and scoop out a full melon ball of the apricots halves at the pit. Be sure not to pierce the outer skin. Fine chop the apricot meat that you have removed and reserve these pieces for garnish. Use the melon baller and scoop out a full scoop of the chevre mix and place in the hollowed out apricot halves, over fill. Evenly garnish with the reserved chopped apricot pieces and reserved chopped flowers. Serve and ENJOY!

jarohoney copyright 2014

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