Raw Pizza with Rosemary Cashew Cheese, Arugula, and Balsamic Marinated Cherries

by Gena on July 23, 2012

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Never say never. That’s the upshot of today’s post. This week, I’ve uncharacteristically allowed myself to run out of groceries. And when I say “run out,” I mean it: as of this morning, I have no greens, no produce except for a red bell pepper, a cucumber, and a mango, no almond milk, no frozen fruit, and—most alarming of all—no dark chocolate and no coffee. Fail.

No matter: I’ll get groceries tonight between studying and…studying. But over the weekend, knowing I’d be too busy to shop, I found myself trying to throw together meals out of the assorted odds and ends in my fridge. Yesterday, remaining inventory included a bit of arugula and spinach, about a cup of cherries, and some of my standard, weekly raw bread (which is a mixture of 1/2 cup ground nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup ground flax, 3 cups pulp from whatever vegetable juicing I’ve been doing, 1/4 tsp or so of salt, and sometimes a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast, too). And, since I rarely run out of nuts and seeds (I get those online), I knew I could have nut cheese at the ready if I wanted some. Which is how my raw pizza with rosemary cashew cheese, arugula, and balsamic marinated cherries was born.

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I admit, I can’t take full credit for this recipe. Emily recently mentioned having gone to a raw restaurant and had a cherry pizza. I don’t know how it was made, but I do know that I’d never have thought to do something savory with cherries had she not mentioned it! Now that I have, I’m so glad I did. The balsamic marinade seemed to be a natural fit for the sweet, dark cherries, and they paired wonderfully with my herbed cashew cheese. The light, lemony bite of arugula was just what the whole dish needed: it cut through some of the strength of the balsamic and rosemary flavors.

You can use essentially any bread you want for this dish. Sprouted grain toast would be fine; so would most raw breads (check out my tomato bread or my hemp bread here). You could use crispibreads or flatbreads, too. Feel free to get creative here: it’s really the cherry mixture and nut cheese that makes it sing.

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Raw Pizza with Rosemary Cashew Cheese, Arugula, and Balsamic Marinated Cherries (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 2

3/4 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups cashews, soaked for four hours or more
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
2-4 tbsp water
4 slices raw bread, flatbread, or sprouted grain toaste
1 cup arugula (or arugula and spinach blend)

1. Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Soak cherries in the marinade for a few hours (or overnight). You can soak cashews and cherries at the same time!

2. Place cashews, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process or blend till the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Add the water as needed to facilitate blending, but don’t add so much that the mixture gets soupy. Set cashew cheese aside.

3. On each piece of toast, cracker, or bread, layer a small handful of arugula, several dollops of the cashew cheese, and 6-8 cherry halves. Enjoy the delicious, sweet and savory bite!

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As a food blogger, I tend to keep my fridge stocked with a routine, weekly grocery run. It’s been interesting to see what it’s like to finish each and every morsel of food before I shop again; it happened this way because I was busy, but it’s a healthy exercise regardless, because it forces me to get creative with what I have on hand. Necessity is the mother of invention!

And it looks like I’ll have one more lunch left with the few remaining items I’ve got. So wish me luck, and I’ll report back…

xo

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

yum yum yum! that sounds delicious! i love the flavor combo!

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Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania July 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

I think any one would love this- raw vegan or not!

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Janae @ Bring-Joy July 23, 2012 at 9:51 am

Gena, I love how real & inventive you are! Such a beautiful marriage of flavors I would never have thought of, but look what happens when real life + desire for good, healthy, vibrant food, creates.

I really love your recipes because you’re not sitting around in a test kitchen churning out dozens of recipes just because. You’re living life (not jealous of all the studying–I don’t know how you do it!) & in the process, coming across some great creations!

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Christa @ Edible Balance July 23, 2012 at 9:51 am

Ohhhh… such a lovely combination, AND I have all the ingredients! I’ve been doing the ‘use up what I have’ challenge lately, and am much more creative in the process… it’s so fun! Being mindful and grateful for what we have is such an amazing practice. :)

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

Hahah I feel like some of the most creative recipes are born out of those moments! That fridgin’ moment when brilliance comes out of nowhere :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

I love balsamic and I adore cherries…perfect salad combo!

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Catherine July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Sounds wonderful! This marriage of flavors is reminiscent of your cranberry cashew cheese, which is a serious favorite of mine. Love the savory and sweet together.

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Kasandra Bracken July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

You’re a brave soul, Gena! Not sure if I’m ready yet for cherries on pizza – but the presentation looks glorious! Love your resourcefulness. Thanks for sharing!

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Rachel July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Not a fan of cashews.. for some reason they make me nauseous lol any other thing I could put on?

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janet @ the taste space July 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I love this totally inventive salad, Gena. Oddly enough, I have many of those same ingredients on hand, so if I can save my cherries, I am totally making this!

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Vegyogini July 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

This is one of the most delicious-looking recipes I’ve ever seen on your blog! Can’t wait to try it!

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity July 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

This looks unreal!
Most of my best recipe inventions were from having hardly any grocies and having to use up what I had :)
Good luck with all that study. Thank gosh for chocolate :) x

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Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! July 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Holy Yum! That is all.

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Hannah July 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Babe, I know I still owe you that email (ALL THE TASKS THE OVERWHELMING TASKS AND PAPERWORK AND CLEANING), but might I just say that, if you are true-true about your offer of the sofa, it will make my heart dance to be your personal grocery shopper for you while you’re studying. I’ll also wash dishes. And sing! Until you tell me to shush my face.
xo

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sonja July 24, 2012 at 2:07 am

that looks so good! you should run out of groceries more often!

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Kristy July 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Wow, Gena! I don’t know what element of this pizza I love more- the balsamic cherries, the rosemary cashew cheese, the raw bread crust… I want it bad! ;-) Making a note to try this soon!

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Malea Cooper July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Where do you get your nuts and seeds from online? I was wondering because I figure you go to a quality place with reasonable prices, so I am curious, I need to find such a place!

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Find a Juicer July 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I really love to look for sites which are showcase different nutritious and delicious foods to prepare. This would be a perfect match with your fruit or veggie juice!

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Jade July 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Looking forward to trying that cheese alone!

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Lori Ann August 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

I’m looking for the “nut cheese or cashew cheese” recipe and can’t seem to locate it. Can anyone find it? Thanks! I’m new to this site and anxious to try your recipes. Thanks, Lori Ann

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