Vegan Almond Feta Cheese
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- 1 cup whole blanch almonds
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1. In a medium bowl, place almonds and cover with 3 inches of cold water. Let almonds soak in water for 24 hours, then drain and rinse under cold water.
2. In a food processor, purée almonds with lemon juice, 3 Tbs. olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water. Process for 3-6 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
3. Line a strainer with three layers of cheesecloth, and place the strainer over top a bowl. Spoon the almond mixture in the cheesecloth, then use the cheesecloth to squeeze out excess moisture into the bowl below. Use your hands to form the almond mixture into a ball, then use an elastic band or twine to secure the cheesecloth around the cheese and hold it in form. Chill for 12 hours or overnight.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 200°F. Unwrap cheese, and transfer it to baking sheet. Flatten it slightly to form a 6-inch round (should be about 3/4 -inch thick. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is firm to the touch. Cool, then chill and keep refrigerated.
5. To make herb oil: combine remaining ¼ cup oil, thyme, and rosemary in a small saucepan. Keep heat at medium-low for 2 minutes, making it hot but not to the point of simmering. Reduce heat, and cool to room temperature. Drizzle oil over cheese just before serving.