Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Sauce

So "June gloom" ends after tomorrow, right?  Cloudy weather never got to me until I moved here.  But when it's dry and sunny all the time, the different weather makes me alternatively gloomy, nostalgic, and cozy.  Staples like tabouleh and cold bean salads lose their appeal.  I wanted rich comfort food.

I've been wanting to make creamy things out of cashews for a while now.  I finally picked up some raw cashews at Trader Joe's; the only thing missing was nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast and I broke up about a year ago.  I had some really old stuff that I'd moved from Chicago, to Minnesota, to LA (and then moved within LA).  It was kind of funky, and after throwing it out, I didn't have the heart--or the stomach--to buy more.

Until today.  My new eye doctor is right across the street from Nature Mart and its bulk bin store, and sure enough, they had nootch in bulk.  I didn't take too much.

And, I think you could make this recipe without nutritional yeast at all.

I started with this recipe on Seaweed Snacks, but I substantially changed around the method as well as some ingredients.  My mini-food-processor needed all the help it could get, and I wanted to add some sauteed garlic.  So, while the original recipe required no cooking, I ultimately combined everything together on the stove.  I added water to help the blending go, er, more smoothly, some of which maybe cooked off over the stove anyway.  In any case, it wasn't too watery.  I also used roasted peppers from a jar rather than raw fresh peppers--more convenient, more roasty, and easier to digest (raw peppers make me burp a lot).  I added paprika for color, and red pepper flakes for spiciness.  At first, the sauce was too sweet with the bell pepper, so I added quite a bit of lemon juice, which really improved it.

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Sauce (over Whole Wheat Spaghetti)
(adapted from Seaweed Snacks)

1 1/2 c raw cashews
1/4-1/2 c water
1/2 c roasted red peppers from a jar (or fresh)
1/8 c extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes and paprika to taste
1/8 c nutritional yeast
1 TB tamari
1/2 tsp sea salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

1) In a food processor or blender, blend cashews, water, and peppers until as creamy as possible.
2) In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute garlic with red pepper flakes and paprika several minutes, until browned and fragrant. 
3) Reduce heat to very low.  Add cashew-pepper puree to saucepan, as well as remaining ingredients.  Stir until completely mixed, then transfer back to food processor if more blending is desired.  Serve warm over pasta. Makes about 2 cups or 4-6 servings.


Going Rural said...

How long does this dressing last in the fridge? I made some to use on Kale and have a lot left over. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

How long does the dressing last in the fridge?

Julia said...

Hmm... I'm not sure. It doesn't have a lot of salt or acid (except lemon juice), which I think tend to help things keep longer. Personally, I wouldn't keep it in the fridge for more than a week. Instead, I'm a big fan of freezing sauces and using them months later--it's like I've made my future self a present. :)