Strawberry and Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

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!

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What you’ll need for this recipe:

  • balsamic vinegar and maple syrup for the glaze
  • olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • cashews
  • tofu
  • non-dairy milk
  • basil leaves
  • lemon juice
  • nutritional yeast
  • white miso paste
  • salt & pepper
  • strawberries
  • and a baguette
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Strawberry & Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

Strawberry and Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

Hannah
One of my favorite apps – crostini! This recipe features juicy sliced strawberries, vegan basil ricotta made with tofu and cashews, and balsamic glaze for drizzling over the top.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 30 crostini (depending on size of baguette)

Ingredients
  

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Vegan Basil Ricotta

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews softened*
  • 7 oz firm tofu (1/2 block) drained and broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Crostini

  • 1 baguette
  • vegan basil ricotta
  • sliced strawberries
  • balsamic glaze
  • fresh basil

Instructions
 

Balsamic Glaze

  • 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.

Vegan Basil Ricotta

  • 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.

Crostini

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush each side with oil, and bake for 5-7 minutes per side until edges are golden brown.
  • Top crostini with the ricotta, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Notes

*To soften cashews: place them in a bowl of very hot water for 20-30 minutes, or allow them to soak overnight in a bowl of water in the fridge
Balsamic vinegar can be drizzled over the top in place of the balsamic glaze, if desired.
 
Keyword crostini, ricotta crostini, strawberry basil crostini, vegan crostini
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Roasted Garlic & Dill Cashew Sauce

I’m always down for a new sauce. This roasted garlic and dill sauce is so good with sweet potato fries, crackers, veggies, as a potato salad dressing, a pasta sauce, or a sandwich spread.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, softened*
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Roast garlic by chopping the top of the head off to expose the cloves. Place garlic on a square of foil and drizzle oil over top. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place in the oven for about 35 minutes or until very soft. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before squeezing out the cloves into a blender.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt if needed, or more lemon juice for brightness.
  3. Serve with sweet potato fries, crackers, veggies, as a pasta sauce, or as a sandwich spread.

Notes:

*soften cashews either by soaking over night or placing in hot water for 30 minutes



Vegan Mac & Beer Cheese Bites

It’s almost finger food and funny commercial day! Also I hear there are sports involved. Whether you’re here for the snacks or the football, you’ve gotta make some fun food! Personally, I think no Super Bowl is complete with two things: cheese and beer. Thus, vegan mac & beer cheese bites! These bites definitely make enough to serve a crowd, or for you to have leftovers all to yourself (what I’ll be doing on account of covid).

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Makes about 48 bites. Spread out to two mini muffin tins or bake a second batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) box cooked elbow pasta, minus 1 cup
  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup beer (lager)
  • Grated vegan cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Add all ingredients except for beer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the cheese sauce into a saucepan with the beer, and heat over medium-low until thick and bubbly (5-10 minutes). Taste and season with more salt if needed. Stir the pasta noodles into the sauce.
  4. Lightly oil a mini muffin tin and spoon the mac and cheese into each hole. Pack the mac and cheese down tightly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some grated vegan cheddar cheese over the tops. Don’t skip this step because the cheddar shreds help keep the tops of the “muffins” together.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing each bite with a butter knife or the handle of a spoon. Repeat until all the mac and cheese is gone and you’re left with lots of mac and cheese bites.
  6. Serve alone or with a sauce like marinara or ketchup, and enjoy!


Artichoke & Olive Crostini

Crostini is one of my all time favorite appetizers because, while incredibly simple, it has so much room for creativity. And, I mean, who doesn’t like toasted bread with various toppings?

Appetizers like these are so easy to make ahead of time, they travel well, and aren’t “obviously vegan”, so I often find myself opting for crostini when bringing dishes to gatherings with friends and family.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup castelvetrano olives
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (in oil are okay, just use less olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grated vegan parmesan (like Violife)
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for topping
  • A baguette
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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Finely chop (or you could use a food processor) the artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. Add to a bowl and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, vegan parmesan, salt, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush each side with oil, and bake for 5 minutes per side until edges are golden brown.
  4. Top the crostini with the artichoke and olive mixture, sprinkle some more grated parmesan and the fresh parsley over them, and enjoy.

Notes:

This recipe makes a lot, so consider halving it if it’s only for a few people. But hey, it also keeps well in the fridge for days, so maybe bring the leftovers for lunch or throw it in sandwiches and salads.


Vegan Dumpling Dipping Sauce

This dipping sauce is sweet, sour, and delicious. It’s super simple, too – you probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your kitchen already. Hurray!

I especially love this sauce with pan-fried tofu and vegetable dumplings, but it’s good on rice and with spring rolls as well.

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Ooooh

Ahhhh

I’ve called for garlic and ginger powder, but definitely try it out with fresh minced garlic and grated ginger if you have them!

This make enough sauce for 15-20 dumplings, so double it if you’re in need of more.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • a pinch of garlic powder
  • a pinch of ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
  • sliced green onion (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.
  2. Top with the chopped green onions.
  3. Get to dippin’ and enjoy!

Notes:

If you’d like to make this a spicy vegan asian dipping sauce, go ahead and stir in a pinch or red pepper flakes or a squirt of sriracha!