A recent standout from the White Lotus Kitchen this past Pranayama retreat was our chef, Tamara Everett's, almond ricotta. A vegan version of traditional ricotta cheese. The ricotta accompanied an incredible Italian dinner of pasta puttanesca, braised greens with asparagus, an amazing, creative Caesar salad with a vegan Goddess dressing and sun seed parm, loaves of crusty, hot, whole grain bread with tapenade, and a killer dairy-free chocolate torte for dessert. Everyone went crazy for this meal and especially the almond ricotta. It was one of those, I can't believe its not butter moments. People were putting ricotta on everything they could get away with. I'm surprised several people didn't lose fingers in the process of relishing every last tantalizing bite.
Tamara created this recipe when she was attending The Natural Epicurean culinary school in Austin, Texas. It is one of her favorite plant based extras to add to an Italian dinner. She says this ricotta pleases and surprises people every time. The simple-to-make recipe below is great on bruschetta, dolloped on pasta, or served over roasted veggies. The recipe also allows for the addition of probiotics which will give it additional benefits along with a more authentic tang that certain cheeses have.
By popular demand, we bring you this plant-based, delicious almond ricotta.
2 cups blanched almonds
6 + oz water
white pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
nutmeg (freshly grated is always nice)
sea salt or Himalayan salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. or 1 capsule of probiotics (optional)
Cover the almonds with fresh water by 2” and soak overnight, or at least 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse. Blend the almonds with water in a high-speed blender (Vitamix) slowly adding the amount you need to get a smooth cream, the thickness of traditional ricotta.
If you would like to ferment the ricotta blend in 1/4 teaspoon or one capsule of probiotics. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and loosely cover, or cover with plastic wrap and poke air holes in the top. Allow the ricotta to rest in a warm environment for 10-12 hours to culture.
Add seasoning to taste, starting with small amounts, just a pinch or two of each. You can always add more. Stir in a glug of olive oil for extra creaminess.