Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Raw Macadamia Nut Ricotta

You take some macadamia nuts, and you take some lemon juice...

The macadamia nut dip is the one on the left. I garnished them all with green onions and did a little design with a spoon to make it look a bit fancy, but the recipe -- very, very simple.

Lemon and macadamia nuts are a really nice combo, and whether you follow the "raw" food doctrine of soaking your nuts to reduce the or not, a good 30 minute minimum soak for these nuts before blending them up with some freshly squeezed lemon juice will give you a creamier texture. Salt is kind of important, and the lemon zest helps too, but the oil is really only there to make this creamy. The pepper is very much optional

The downside of this recipe is that the ricotta (albeit the least smooth ricotta you'll probably ever have) doesn't last more than a few days, so don't blend up more than you can chew, so to speak. A half cup of nut ricotta is a fair bit, so starting with more than a cup of nuts might be a bad idea.

With that in mind:

1 cup macadamia nuts
4-7 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sprinkle of salt (up to 3/4 tsp)
zest of one lemon
freshly ground pepper (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil (optional) or 2 tbsp water (or more to make it blend)

Soak the nuts in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes, max an hour. These are not long-soaking nuts to remove enzyme-inhibitors, apparently. Drain the nuts and stick them in a strong blender or food processor along with the lemon juice, zest and some salt. Purée to creamy goodness, cursing if your blender dies, complaining if you have to add some water to get the darn thing to blend, and imagining how to apologize to your mother for breaking her blender (it later came back to life, miraculously. The wonders of "raw" food?).