Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Roasted vegetables with cashew cheese and harissa dressing

This makes a satisfying vegetarian meal, but is versatile enough to be served as a side with grilled chicken or fish.

Chef Banks White
Brixton, San Francisco

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Cashew cheese

2 cups cashews
4 cups purified water
1/2 cup super-hot water
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste 

1 cup cracked freekeh
3 cups water
Salt, to taste 

Roasted vegetables
1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
1 head broccoli, washed and cut into florets
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Juice from 1/2 lemon (optional) 

Honey harissa dressing
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. harissa paste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 roasted piquillo pepper or small roasted red pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Microgreens, for garnish (optional) 


For cashew cheese: Soak cashews in purified water for at least 4 hours and up to 12. (Refrigerate if soaking overnight.) After soaking, discard soaking liquid and rinse cashews thoroughly. Pour hot water, olive oil and nutritional yeast into a blender with drained cashews. Blend on high until mixture resembles peanut butter. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For freekah: In a medium saucepan, combine cracked freekeh, water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit until ready to use.

For roasted vegetables: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange florets in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp-tender with lightly charred edges. If desired, squeeze lemon juice evenly over florets and finish with salt to taste.

For dressing: Blend all ingredients together in a blender, slowly drizzling in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.

To plate: Spoon some of the cashew cheese onto plate, then half of the freekeh. Toss roasted vegetables with harissa dressing and place on top of cashew cheese. Garnish with microgreens, if you wish. 

Serves 2

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