Recipe: Tofu Ricotta

When I lived in California, I relied exclusively on pre-made fake cheeses for any of my “dairy” needs in cooking. Most notably, I used Daiya, which is basically the best vegan cheese ever. I also found myself using Teese from time to time. But what I never did is make my own cheese.

Rather than make the trek to Prenzlauer Berg to the only place I know of in Berlin with vegan cheese options, I decided instead to finally make cheese, and started with the recipe for tofu ricotta from Veganomicon.

I already had most of the ingredients, or else knew where to find them, with the exception of a few. So I headed to Karstadt, purveyor of most everything, for nutritional yeast, which costs far too much for far too little.

I also figured it was about time I had my own basil plant, hence:

Directions:

-Smash up 1 pound (or 500 grams) of firm tofu in a bowl, using your hands or a fork.

-Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 clove diced or pressed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and 10 fresh, finely chopped basil leaves.

-Continue working the mixture until it’s the consistency of ricotta cheese.

-Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, and continue mixing.

-Set aside and chill until you’re ready to use it.

This ended up being used as the “cheese” on pumpkin pizza but it also functions great in so many other capacities. Whether you’re eating it cold (plain or as a dip or spread) or warm (in filled pastas or vegetable dishes), it fits just about any appetite.

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