I’ve been feeling a bit cashewed-out lately, so I turned to macadamias for a change of scenery. I’m really loving experimenting with them and already have lots of recipe ideas whirring around in my head – and a couple of experiments already in the fridge!
This macadamia “cream cheese” heavily influenced today’s recipe. I made it the other week and loved it, but wanted to change it to suit my palate. More lemon, less chives and the influence of my Greek heritage: throwing tomatoes and dill into the mix.
1 C Raw, Unsalted Macadamias
2 T Lemon Juice (fresh if possible)
1 t Salt
1/2 C Water, plus extra for soaking the nuts
1-2 T Fresh Chives, chopped finely – or fresh thyme leaves!
1 t Fresh Dill, chopped finely, plus extra dill to serve
Cracked pepper to serve
- Submerge the macadamias in a bowl of water and leave to soak for 1-2 hours.
- Drain, then blend in a high speed blender (such as a Blendtec) on high for 50 seconds with the lemon juice, salt & 1/2 C water.
* If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can use a food processor but it won’t be quite as smooth and fluffy. Grind the macadamias and salt first, then add the lemon juice and water slowly while blending to get the smoothest results.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and line with 2 layers of muslin or cheesecloth. Scrape your macadamia mixture onto it, wrap up and squeeze lightly. If little white macadamia worms find their way through the fabric you’re squeezing too hard! Leave sitting in the sieve at room temperature for around 8-10 hours with a weight on it to help press out the excess liquid. I used a 400g tin of tomatoes lying on its side. This amount of weight works perfectly.
- Place in an air tight container, stir in the herbs and refrigerate. After 8 hours, the flavours will have developed and your spread is ready to eat! This will last about a week in the fridge.
I’ve eaten a lot of this lately. It’s good on toast, it’s great with raw veggie sticks, but the BEST thing to have with it is tomatoes! Exploding tomato juice in your mouth is the perfect accompaniment to this thick, creamy spread.
The amount of tangy macadamia spread in this recipe will fill a punnet of cherry tomatoes with some extra left over for you to eat while you go. And you’ll want to, believe me.
You can make these two ways. If you want to do it this way, you will quickly learn that the tomato “bums” aren’t all flat enough to sit up straight once stuffed. If you sit them on their tops (the end where they were once attached to the plant/vine) and cut off the “bums”, they’ll be a lot more stirdy. And don’t sweat it, only a true smarty pants will look underneath and see what you’ve done. You’ll need to scoop out the “guts” with something small; I used a paring knife because my melon baller wouldn’t fit.
The biggest issue I have with this method is the waste. What are you going to do with all the guts? Probably throw them in the bin. And there’s nothing wrong with them. The cherry tomatoes should be part of the bite in full – not merely a vessel for the spread. So… I’m giving you another option.
Cut them in half (top to “bum”) and pipe the spread straight on top. The tomato flavour is jucier and more explosive, and there’s no waste!
You don’t need a proper piping bag to do this, you can stuff the spread into the bottom corner of a zip lock bag, snip the corner off and squeeze to get it out onto the tomatoes.
Top with freshly cracked pepper and a little sprig of fresh dill. All four non-vegan taste testers loved these and felt that I didn’t make enough for them. I was told they were “cheesy”, I was asked to make them again soon, and I was told about how superb these were three times in one day – all by the same person. Now excuse me while I go and deflate my head a little.
* No matter how adorably your dog stares at you while you eat this, DO NOT share it with him/her. Macadamias are toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can end up costing you a very expensive, emergency trip to the vet.