If a food could be louche, it would have to be rich, buttery Boursin: the soft, triple-cream, crumbly cheese spread that is so deliciously smooth and flavorful, one might manage to forget it is a heavily processed commercial milk product, just a few degrees of separation away from Philly.
I’ve had a serious crush on Boursin cheese—the garlic and fine herbs variety—since first being introduced in high school by a certain Melba Toast. Of course, we all were forced to part ways decades ago, citing irreconcilable health differences. But I’ve remained true in my long-standing desire to create a raw vegan version of the classic spread.
Undaunted by several false attempts, I’ve finally figured out the elusive ingredient that makes the recipe work: hemp seeds! Creamy, golden hemp seeds (rather than my usual seed cheese suspects: pumpkin, sunflower, cashew, macadamia) are the secret.
Along with a sublime blend of fresh garlic, lemon juice, and herbes de Provence, hemp seeds make my Raw Vegan Hemp Boursin with Garlic & Fine Herbs taste as divinely decadent as the original.
Enjoy Raw Vegan Hemp Boursin on 100% whole grain bread or crackers, sandwiched between spinach leaves, nestled in romaine, or stuffed into crunchy celery ribs. For sweeter pleasures, consider serving as a dip or spread with sliced Honeycrisp apples. Yum.
Raw Vegan Hemp Boursin with Garlic & Fine Herbs
This recipe makes one cup of finished Hemp Boursin.
1 ½ cups organic hulled hemp seeds
1 small clove of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 4 Tablespoons cold water
In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add hemp seeds, garlic, salt, herbes de Provence and nutritional yeast, and pulse into a crumbly meal. Add lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water; then process again until the contents begin to form a ball. Use a rubber spatula to scrape what rises up the sides back down into the mixture. Continue adding water one tablespoon at a time, and process the cheese after each addition until you see a color change: from green-gold to ivory white. At this point, only add more water if needed to reach desired, smooth consistency. Be careful not too add too much water at once, or the spread will suddenly turn liquid, in which case it can be used as salad dressing and you’ll have to start again. Store covered Hemp Boursin in refrigerator for up to one week. Freezes well for those who prefer to work in larger batches.
Note: The beautiful 100% whole grain sourdough bread featured in this post was handmade by Dorie Goldman of The Backyard Bakery, who freshly mills her own flour from local and organic grains.
Having purchased my first loaf today at the indoor Amherst Farmers Market, I feel like I won a prize! Moist, chewy and packed with seeds, this dense Danish Rye miraculously manages to be as light as it is hearty. My new favorite bread, hands down.