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Last week on Valentine’s Day my mom hosted a luncheon for her daughters (me and my two sisters) and our daughters (Eden and my two nieces).  It was a very nice occasion to get together; we watched the little ones run around chasing each other, made valentines cards out of contruction paper, and hunted for hidden treasures.  At the lunch my mom served a stacked salad inspired by this. I, of course, then got inspired to make my own version because I can’t imagine a more elegant way to enjoy a fresh salad.

Originally I was planning on using Diaya spreadable cheese to stack in between pears and arugula, but with a desire to eat less processed foods and more raw foods I realized this dish was the perfect time to try making a raw nut cheese.

cheese

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Vegan Goat Cheese Stacked Salad
Makes 2

1 large pear
1 large handful of fresh arugula or mixed greens
2-3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
2-3 tbsp dried cherries

Macadamia Nut “Goat” Cheese
Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Macadamia Nut “Goat” Cheese
Makes about 3/4 cup

1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked 8-10 hours
1 tbsp unpasteurized white miso
2-3 tbsp water, as needed
pinch of salt
2-3 tsp lemon juice

Drain and rinse the macadamia nuts.

In a food processor or powerful blender mix together nuts, miso, salt and water (as needed) until it forms a smooth paste. You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a couple times. Transfer onto a double layer cheesecloth, wrap into a small log, and let cheese to sit out for  12- 36 hours in a warm area of the house; the cheese becomes more tangy and salty as it sits.

Remove cheese from cheesecloth and adjust flavors (if necessary) by adding lemon juice and/or salt. Store in the refrigerator.

Sweet Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

2-3 tbsp raw agave
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a blender combine agave, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. With motor running, slowly add olive oil until thick and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator.

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To assemble the salad: Core the pear and slice it into thin slices. Place few leafs of arugula on a plate and cover with a pear slice. Top the pear with a few hazelnut-sized pieces of nut cheese and a couple of dried cherries. Layer with a couple more small pieces of arugula and repeat 4 times. It will look like this:

arugula
pear
goat cheese & cherries
arugula
pear
goat cheese & cherries
etc….

It will also look like this:

IMG_2899

Top with cheese, cherries and a few crushed hazelnuts and finish with Sweet Apple Cider Vinegar. Serve immediately.

 

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