vegan creme fraiche

Homemade vegan versatile creme fraiche

The options for this little delicious paste is endless! Ofcourse you can use different spices, or make a natural version with just salt and pepper. This cashew paste is very nice on vegan burgers, sandwiches and it’s also an amazing dip for chips or potato vedges! Use more water, and you have a brilliant, nutritious sallad dressing. This recipe makes about 6 servings. 

3 dl (1,3 cups) cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 7 hours
1,5 tbsp nutritional yeast (or vegan chicken stock, recipe HERE
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp (or more, if you want it more runny)
Salt and ground black pepper for seasoning 
1 tesp paprika powder
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 crushed clove of garlic

You can use any spices you want really. This is my favorite mix, but other spices, herbs, fresh or dried, or soy sauce works fine too! One takes what one has. 

Mix all the ingredients to a paste in a food processor, taste to check if you need more seasoning. Add more water for desired texture, if needed. Sprinkle some nice spices or herbs over the paste, if you want. Store in a jar or box in the fridge! 

Linguine with Fennel, Arugula and Lemon

Something is wrong: I haven’t had Indian food in two weeks. I’ll need to rectify this with a batch of Spicy Green Lentils

In the meantime, I have this recipe I adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg. For a long time, I avoided fennel because I’m not a huge fan of anise flavor except for when it is one of many flavors as in chai or in phở broth. But slowly I’ve come around and this recipe has helped me cross the line so I can say, “Yeah, fennel. We good. We good.”

I made this for Garden Ginja and our friend Aleesha a little while back ago, but without the cashew crème fraîche. I love adding arugula to pasta dishes to give a fresh and slightly bitter counter-point. I’ll sometimes make a similar dish to my Lemon Capers Mint Pasta but with fresh basil and arugula instead of the mint, and cherry or grape tomatoes along with the capers. It’s also a brilliant dish for the spring or summer.

A good thing too because spring has come to Seattle!

Ingredients

2 large fennel bulbs

2 Tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves, slivered

1 lb whole wheat linguine

4 – 6 handfuls of arugula

2 lemons, zested

6 Tbs cashew crème fraîche (recipe here)

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Optional

Vegan Parmesan (recipe here)

Red chili flakes

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt with about 2 tablespoons of salt.

  2. Meanwhile, trim the tops and remove the tougher outer layer of the fennel bulbs. Cut bulbs in half the remove core at the bottom of each bulb. Thinly slice the bulbs.

  3. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté fennel and garlic until fennel is tender, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add linguine into salted water and cook until al dente.

  5. Add arugula to the fennel and stir until wilted.

  6. Stir in lemon zest and cashew crème until all the vegetables are coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Drain pasta well and toss into vegetable mixture. Serve with vegan parmesan and optional red chili flakes.