Crostini is one my favorite appetizers because:
1.) it’s easy
2.) it travels well, and
3.) it’s cute as heck.
I opted for a half cashew/half tofu ricotta because honestly I just think it tastes good, but also it’s more cost effective than using entirely cashews. If you’d like to only use tofu, you can just add the onions and garlic in with the rest of the ingredients and process once.
If you’re not wanting to make crostini today, you can use this ricotta in lasagna, pasta, on toast, in sandwiches, or however else you see fit!
For the Balsamic Glaze:
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a small sauce pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before using.
For the Vegan Basil Ricotta:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, softened*
- 7 oz (1/2 block) firm tofu, drained and broken into chunks
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until the onions soften and the edges are beginning to brown. Remove from heat.
- Add cashews, milk, and the cooked onion and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Add tofu, basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, salt, and pepper and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if needed.
For the Crostini:
- 1 baguette
- Vegan basil ricotta
- Sliced strawberries
- Balsamic glaze
- Fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush each side with oil, and bake for 3-5 minutes per side until edges are golden brown.
- Top crostini with the ricotta, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and fresh basil.
*To soften cashews, either soak overnight in water or place in very hot water for 30 minutes.