STRAWBERRY BRUSCHETTA ANTIPASTO (raw-vegan)
Did I mention that I LOVE STRAWBERRIES? Well I do! I also LOVE ANTIPASTO (the appetizers that you serve before a meal). In fact I can’t think of a better combination. I actually would rather eat antipasto than a full meal; guess its the Old World in me. Normally when someone says bruschetta, one thinks of a tomato based topping for bread. Well that is one version; I like to think of bruschetta as a mix of fruit, basil, garlic and cheese served creatively. Since I no longer eat dairy cheese nor baked bread, I came up with a twist on bruschetta with my STRAWBERRY BRUSCHETTA ANTIPASTO. Yes- they are RAW and VEGAN, full of flavor and just look how pretty they are. These small bites are perfect to serve for antipasto, brunch or even as a savory dessert. So next time you have some ripe strawberries, change it up and serve strawberry bruschetta antipasto, everyone will really like it.
SERVES 4 AS ANTIPASTO
8 large ripe organic strawberries with leaves, wash well
1/2 cup three nut cheese (see recipe below)
1 tsp. fresh ground pink salt
6 large fresh organic basil leaves, wash and spin dry
4 large cloves fresh organic garlic, fine chopped
Now I will describe how to prepare this dish so that it is presented like the picture above….See demo pics below this description
- On a flat surface, lay your strawberries so they lay even without rolling over, adjust accordingly.
- With a melon baller, gently make an indentation out of the thick upper part of the strawberry, this is where you will put the bruschetta mix.
- Gently make a full scoop out of the meat of the strawberry.
- Repeat for all of the strawberries. Reserve this meat.
- In a small bowl, mix the three nut cheese with the pink salt. Now chiffonade your basil leaves [stack leaves on each other, roll tightly lengthwise and thin slice the roll width-wise to make thin ribbons] and add it to the nut cheese. Fine dice the strawberry meat that you reserved and add it to the cheese. Now add the chopped garlic and gently fold all these ingredients together. This is your bruschetta mix.
- Use the melon baller again and scoop out a full ball of the bruschetta mix and over fill the hole in the strawberry that you have made, Repeat with the other strawberries. Plate on your serving dish and ENJOY!
RECIPE FOR THREE NUT CHEESE
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUP OF CHEESE
This cheese is great if you are looking for a crumbled consistency in your nut cheese. The total process takes 5 days but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day…trust me the results are worth it.
A CHEF’S TIP: always use whole nuts in your recipes. When producers sell whole nuts, the nuts have to be flawless, firm and top quality. This is the best quality of nut you can buy thus producing the best quality results in your recipes.
1/3 cup organic raw whole almonds
1/3 cup organic raw whole hazelnuts
2/3 cup organic raw whole cashews
water for soaking
1 1/4 water
3 TBSP raw organic cider vinegar
In a large bowl, put all of the nuts in and cover 2 inches above the nuts with cold water. Soak your nuts for 72 hours at room temperature, change the water every 24 hours. Drain and rinse well. In your blender, add the nuts and 1 1/4 cup water, blend on high until smooth. Now add the cider vinegar and blend on high for 1 minute. Spoon the mixture into the center of a clean large 12 x 12 tight woven cotton kitchen cloth, smooth out the mixture into a rectangle shape to 2 inches from the edge of the cloth. Cover with another cloth, fold the sides of the bottom cloth up onto the top cloth to seal the sides, Now fold over itself in half . In a large baking dish,place a flat drip rack or cooling rack in the bottom and cover with a sushi rolling mat. Be sure to lay the sushi rolling mat in a direction that it wont fall into the rack slots. Lay your folded cheese filled cloth package on the sushi rolling mat. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 hours. Now find a small sheet pan that will cover the package, place it flat side down on top of the package. Add weight to it to press it (I used jars of water on the sheet pan), be sure to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. You can also use another flat bottom pan filled half way with water instead. NOTE: you will only need about 5 pounds of water [2 1/2 quarts of water]. Press for 48 hours at room temperature. Remove the weight and gently unfold and unwrap the cheese. Now your cheese is ready to eat, use in your recipes or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.