Friday, August 3, 2012

Brazil Nut Parmesan Spread with Cucumber Chips

When I was a little girl, my parents sometimes would host cocktail parties where, along with tinkly drinks, hors d'oeuvres would be served. In our house circa 1972, hors d'oeuvres meant yummy treats like Pigs in a Blanket (frozen miniature hot dogs wrapped in puffy dough that you'd heat in the oven, stab with toothpicks and dip in Gulden's Spicy Brown mustard), carrot and celery sticks, and assorted boxed crackers and cheeses served on a plate.

Once I was old enough, my mother put me in charge of arranging the raw veggie and cracker plates, and I used to really enjoy making an artistic display with all the different shapes and colors. Fast forward a few decades and things haven't changed much. Except now I'm the adult, the crackers are made of thinly sliced raw cucumbers, and the cheese is made of nuts!

I brought this platter of Cucumber Chips with Brazil Nut Parmesan Spread to my friend Emily's annual summer garden party extravaganza, and was pleased to see it greeted with as much delight as my Triscuit and Port Salud creations of yore. The whole spiral of tasty bites disappeared in minutes (the kids loved them, too!), and a good time was had by all.

Brazil Nut Parmesan Spread can be made in advance - it keeps beautifully for up to a week in the refrigerator. If serving with cucumber chips, it's best to slice the cukes at the last possible minute, though, to retain freshness and nutritional value.

I made this spread with freshly dried oregano from my herb garden. It would also be delicious with thyme, basil or any Italian Herb blend.

Brazil Nut Parmesan Spread
1 cup raw Brazil nuts
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon dried oregano (plus 1 tsp for garnish, optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons cold water

Add the first five ingredients to a food processor fitted with the S-blade, and pulse process into a crumbly meal.

Add lemon juice and water and pulse until the cheese spread comes together in a ball. For a creamier spread, add more water.

To make Cucumber Chips, thinly slice 3 or 4 small cucumbers with a mandolin or very sharp knife.

Spread each cucumber chip with Brazil Nut Parmesan Spread and arrange on a plate, with additional oregano sprinkled over the top.

Bon appetit!


Exploding Mary said...

I'll have to try this soon-- I've been making Ani Phyo's Rawmesan with almonds or walnuts. Haven't gotten to fermented nut cheese yet, but I will!

Keep on sharing, please.

diana allen, ms, cns said...

Thanks, Mary. Everybody loved these little guys at the pot luck!