Since we started harvesting this year’s bumper crop of radishes from our garden, they’ve been used raw in salads, on sandwiches, in omelets, and cooked with garlic and mushrooms over pasta (yum!). Last year I found out how good they are on pizza. If you don’t have garden radishes at your disposal, the local farmers’ markets are overflowing with them and those will have much more flavor than the ones you’ll find at a grocery store.
When I post a recipe, it’s because I love it and want to share the foodie love with everyone and that is especially the case with this radish toast with superfoods cheese creation. I wanted to do something a little different with our radishes and I’ve heard so much about butter and radishes being such a great combo. Thing is, I’ve got a lot of radishes, so that means using a lot of butter, which I certainly don’t need.
Then I remembered the superfoods cheese I made a few weeks back and had a couple rounds left in the freezer. It’s a tangy, vegan cheese made with macadamia nuts, probiotics, and nutritional yeast. From the cookbook Superfoods Snacks by Julie Morris, it was the recipe that caught my eye and made my decision to buy the book. Oh my, what a delicious combination!
The cheese is a little labor intensive and with the 1-2 day “aging,” it’s not something you’ll whip up at a moment’s notice, but it’s worth the effort. This is truly a worthy substitute for a soft dairy cheese, and bonus, it packs a big nutritional wallop.
If you would rather not make the time commitment, you could make the radish toasts with another soft cheese, such as chevre or boursin, or a vegan cream cheese to keep it plant-based, but if you opt for the superfoods cheese, I promise you will love it! And splurge on a box of quality, flaky sea salt like Maldon, the taste is amazing and you’ll find tons of uses for it, in both savory and sweet recipes. Enjoy!
A few notes about the superfoods cheese recipe:
- As an alternative to cheesecloth, a nut milk bag can be used. If you have one, use it. Much easier than cheesecloth. I got mine a couple years ago from Amazon (this one). I’ve also seen them at my local co-op.
- Trader Joe’s is a good source for the macadamia nuts and hemp seeds, and their prices are great. Buying from the bulk section of your grocery or natural foods store would also save money.
- For the probiotic powder, you can find the capsules in the refrigerated area of the natural foods section at large grocery stores or at a natural food store. You can also order them online. Pull the capsules open and dump the powder into a small bowl until you have the amount listed in the recipe.
Salted Radish Toasts with Superfoods Cheese
2 cups macadamia nuts
¼ cup hemp seeds
1 ¼ cups filtered water
1 teaspoon probiotic powder*
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Thick slices of good quality fresh bread (sour dough is extra good!) or your favorite gluten-free version
Thinly sliced radishes
Fresh chopped herbs such as basil, parsley, tarragon (optional)
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Place the macadamia nuts in a bowl and add enough water to cover them by an inch. Refrigerate and let the nuts sit for a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight to soften and slightly swell.
Drain the nuts and place in a blender. Add the hempseeds, water, and probiotic powder. Blend until very smooth, stopping the blender and scraping down the sides, as needed. This may take a few minutes to blend the mixture to a super smooth consistency. If needed, add a little more water (up to ¼ cup) just to get the mixture blending–the less water you use, the better.
Put two 12-inch square layers of cheesecloth (or use a nut milk bag) inside a colander. Place the colander inside a large bowl or tray to catch excess liquid. Use a silicone spatula to scrape all the nut mixture from the blender into the center of the cheesecloth. Gather up the ends of the fabric to create a bag, hold it over the bowl, and gently squeeze all of the mixture in a downward motion into a ball at the bottom of the bag. Squeeze the cheese ball lightly to encourage excess milky liquid to be pushed through the cheesecloth, but not too hard, or else the nuts will begin to push through the cloth as well. Twist the ends of the cheesecloth together to wrap snugly around the cheese ball and set it inside the colander. Place a heavy weight—such as a water-filled mason jar in a small pot—on top of the cheese. Cover the whole thing with a towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 24-48 hours.
Peel away the cheesecloth and place the cheese inside of a bowl. Add nutritional yeast, sea salt, and lemon, and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Put a quarter of the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a 4-inch compact cylinder, rolling it gently inside the plastic wrap to form a symmetrical shape (or you can use a small ring mold to create the rounds). Repeat with remaining cheese.
The cheese will last for up to 2 weeks and continue to firm up slightly in the refrigerator. It will also become slightly sharper with age. Alternatively, wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Before serving, defrost the cheese for a couple hours.
If your bread is super fresh, by all means, skip the toasting step if you’d like. Otherwise, toast bread slices, spread a thick slather of superfoods cheese on each slice and top with radish slices. Dust with fresh herbs, if using, and sprinkle with sea salt. Mmm…you’ll be in heaven!
*Simply open probiotic capsules and empty the powder into a small bowl. A teaspoon is usually equivalent to 6-8 capsules. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are often taken as a health supplement. The powder is used here as the “starter” for culturing the nuts that will improve the cheese’s flavor and texture. The remaining probiotics will keep in the fridge for your next batch of cheese.