Almond “Ricotta”

When I ran into this recipe, I understood it to be a faux feta.  I have found this nothing like feta, but the PERFECT substitute for ricotta–it works in stuffed shells, lasagna, and eggplant veggie bake (recipe forthcoming).  So, I am calling this an almond “ricotta.”  Go forth and make Italian dishes galore.

I imagine that if you make this without the garlic, you could also use this as a filling for vegan cannoli.

Almond Ricotta

Makes 2 5-oz. rounds
Adapted from the Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Soak almonds overnight.  Peel the almond skins.
  2. Purée almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs. oil, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.
  3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon almond mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine.
  4. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft), split in half and transfer from cheesecloth to prepared baking sheet.
  7. Flatten to 2 rounds about 3/4-inch thick.
  8. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill.

*Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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