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Sunday: vegan spread for an appetizer that appeals to all

The holiday season is a time when people open their homes to family and friends. Having a series of tested recipes on hand can fulfill a variety of needs when having people over for dinner parties or informal gatherings.

This recipe for “Creamy Cashew Spread” from “Vegan Cooking for Beginners” (Publications International Ltd.) by the editors of Publications International can meet various dietary needs, making it an ideal addition to the menu when hosting guests. Although a vegan recipe, it certainly can appeal to any guest who appreciates tasty dips and spreads.

Creamy Cashew Spread

Makes about ½ cup

1 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley or oregano (optional)
Assorted bread toasts and/or crackers

  1. Rinse cashews and place in a medium bowl. Cover with water by at least 2 inches. Soak 4 hours or overnight. Drain cashews, reserving soaking water.
  2. Place cashews, 2 tablespoons reserved water, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and pepper in food processor or blender; process for several minutes or until smooth. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir in herbs, if desired, just before serving. Serve with assorted bread toasts and/or crackers.

Tip: Use this dip as a spread for sandwiches or as a pasta topping. Thin it with additional liquid as needed. You can also use it in place of sour cream as a topping for tacos and chili.