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.
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.
Raw Pizza with Rosemary Cashew Cheese, Arugula, and Balsamic Marinated Cherries (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)
3/4 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
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!
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…