Valentine’s Day Vegan Charcuterie Board

vegan charcuterie board

Note: Items in photo may be slightly different than recipe.

vegan charcuterie boardCall me crazy, but I’m not a huge chocolate fan. I’m partial to salty, savory snacks – even on Valentine’s Day. As weird as that sounds, I can’t be the only one who was born without a sweet tooth. Right?

At any rate, I thought it was time to switch up the decadent Valentine’s Day menu with a savory appetizer platter that is completely Instagram worthy, if I do say so myself. Introducing, the vegan charcuterie board.

Now, before you jump down my throat and remind me that the French word charcutier literally translates to “pork butcher” in English, let me explain. While cured meats are traditionally the focal point of a charcuterie board, they certainly don’t have to be. In fact, vegetarian and vegan charcuterie are popping up in plant-based restaurants all across the country. And you know what I say to that? I say “yes.” With enthusiasm! Appetizers can be just as romantic and sexy as chocolate, and they pair just as nicely with wine.

vegan charcuterie board

Speaking of things that pair nicely with wine, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the people we love most, including our friends! That’s why I am thrilled to include two vegan cheese recipes from my friend and former classmate Tiffany, from Plant Perks. We met at Matthew Kenney Culinary in Thailand last year, and she’s been hard at work perfecting her own line of delicious vegan cheeses ever since.

Both of the cheeses on our Valentine’s Day Vegan Charcuterie Board are 100% raw, vegan and brimming with probiotics, vitamins and minerals – including vitamin B6, which is super important when you’re vegan. If you love the Truffle Chive Cheese and Smoked Paprika Basil Goat Cheese in this post, you can enjoy it again without having to make it yourself in the very near future. Plant Perks will set up shop at the Missoula Farmers’ Market starting in May and will be accepting online orders this fall. In the meantime, you can follow Plant Perks on Instagram and Facebook to keep tabs on the amazing plant-based creations coming out of her kitchen.

In conclusion…

This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to tickle a different part of your palate with homemade cashew cheese, mushroom pâté and brilliant beet hummus. Oh, and make sure you throw some olives, grapes, mixed nuts, crackers and sliced baguette in the mix for good measure.

vegan cashew cheese

Smoked Paprika Basil Goat Cheese

Author: Plant Perks

Ingredients

2 cups cashews
¼ – ½ cup water (just enough to blend thoroughly)
1 capsule probiotic powder
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika (make sure to coat entire log)
Fresh basil, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover generously with cold water. Allow the cashews to soak for 24 hours so that they will be extra soft for blending.
  2. After 24 hours, drain the water from the cashews.
  3. Place cashews, water and probiotic powder in a high powered blender (such as a
  4. Blendtec or Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Place the mixture in a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth, then place on top of a bowl so that any excess water can drain out. Twist the top of the cheesecloth closed tightly.
  6. Ferment the cashew cream mixture on the countertop at room temperature for at least 24 hours. The longer you ferment, the tangier the cheese will become.
  7. Once fermentation is complete, stir in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
  8. Scoop the mixture onto plastic wrap and roll to form a tube shape.
  9. Wrap with foil and place in the freezer for two hours to firm up. After two hours, roll the cheese in the following smoked paprika (make sure to coat the entire log) and fresh basil.
  10. Put in the refrigerator for one hour to firm up. Slice and enjoy!

Note: If you have any leftovers, I recommend wrapping the cheese in parchment paper and then placing it in an unsealed plastic bag. This will allow the cheese to continue to breath and age. Eat within 14 days of placing into the refrigerator.

Truffle Chive Cheese

Author: Plant Perks

Ingredients

2 cups cashews
¼ – ½ cups water (just enough to blend thoroughly)
1 capsule probiotic powder
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. truffle oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried chives

Instructions

  1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover generously with cold water. Allow the cashews to soak for 24 hours so that they will be extra soft for blending.
  2. After 24 hours, drain the water from the cashews.
  3. Place cashews, water and probiotic powder in a high powered blender (such as a Blendtec or Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Place the mixture in a strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth, then place on top of a bowl so that any excess water can drain out. Twist the top of the cheesecloth closed tightly.
  5. Ferment the cashew cream mixture on the countertop at room temperature for at least 24 hours. The longer you ferment, the tangier the cheese will become.
  6. Once fermentation is complete, stir in the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, truffle oil, garlic powder and dried chives.
  7. Transfer cheese to a ring mold.
  8. Place ring mold in the freezer to harden for 2 – 3 hours.
  9. Remove cheese from ring mold and place cheese on a wire cooling rack in a cool area of your home to age for 7 days. Lay cheesecloth over the cheeses to protect them from any debris.
  10. Flip the cheeses on day 4 to allow both sides to evenly dry.
  11. Alternatively, if you do not want to wait 7 days, you can place cheese in a dehydrator for 48 hours on low to form a rind, however I can assure you it is worth the week’s wait!
  12. Slice and enjoy!

Note: If you have any leftovers, I recommend wrapping the cheese in parchment paper and then placing it in an unsealed plastic bag. This will allow the cheese to continue to breath and age. Eat within 14 days of placing into the refrigerator.

vegan charcuterie board

Valentine’s Day Vegan Charcuterie Board
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vegan
Ingredients
  • Smoked Paprika Basil Goat Cheese (recipe above)
  • Truffle Chive Cheese (recipe above)
  • Roasted Beet Hummus (recipe here)
  • Mushroom Pâté (recipe here)
For serving
  • Red or green grapes
  • Kalamata olives
  • Cashews or mixed nuts
  • Assortment of crackers
  • Fresh baguette, sliced
Instructions
  1. Prep your cheeses, hummus and pâté. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. Arrange all charcuterie elements on a wood or bamboo serving platter, filling in any gaps with crackers or sliced baguette.
  3. Serve with toothpicks, cheese knives and small plates for easy enjoyment.

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