Arugula, Pear Salad with Cashew Nut Cheese & Honeyed Vinaigrette | Farm Foodie Fitness

basic-herbed-cashew-nut-cheese-IMG_2437Anyone else out there complete cheese lovers? I love my cheese…goat, Gouda, stinking blues, fresh mozzarella! I actually get a hankering for all my favorites. But when I do let myself indulge, these are the cheeses I run for! As for the typical cheese you find on every supermarket shelf or find in the deli, I avoid like the plague. Read the ingredients list and you’ll know why! See cellulose on the list, that’s saw dust so your shredded cheese won’t cake together! As for Kraft singles and Velveeta, you should just eat the plastic, it’s better for you than the actual so-called “cheese.” Ok, off my rant!

So when I’m really in the mood for something different and in the mood to play in the kitchen, I’ll make my own nut cheeses. This is the perfect salad to make your own homemade nut cheese! Light and seasonal with a touch of sweetness from the honey vinaigrette, you’ll be busy making batches of homemade cheese and searching for the best pears you can find! A little time-consuming but well worth it I promise!! Change up your nuts to make different cheeses!

Makes 2-3 Servings

• 2 cups arugula

• 2 cups pears- sliced thin

Glazed Pecans:

• ¼ cup pecan halves

• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

• 1 tablespoon maple syrup

• 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven for 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a sauce pan, add butter, cinnamon, and syrup and heat until butter melts or it begins to bubble. Add in pecans and coat well. Spread over baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Until they turn brown. Keep an eye on them, they will burn fast!!! Let cool for 10 minutes.

Nut Cheese:

• 2 cups cashews-soaked 4 hours

• 1 tablespoon rosemary

• 1 tablespoon parsley

• 1 tablespoon thyme

• ¼ teaspoon salt

• ½- ¾ cup water- as needed

• 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

• 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Add nuts, yeast, vinegar, salt, and water in a food processor until smooth and buttery. Fold in herbs. Store in refrigerator for up to a week in an air tight container. Fresh herbs are better but you can also use dried.

Honeyed Vinaigrette:winter

• 1 tablespoon local honey

• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons good cold-pressed olive oil

In a mason jar or empty container. Add all ingredients and shake well.

On a plate, add arugula, pears, and glazed pecans. Top with crumbled nut cheese. Pour on honeyed vinaigrette and serve!

Grab more recipes like this one from my new fall/winter cookbook.