We've been experimenting with vegan nut-based cheeses here at the cookery school and have discovered that this cashew cheese makes a terrific filling for stuffed chillies. These roasted stuffed chillies are lovely as an appetiser, or you could serve them alongside other small dishes as part of a Mexican tapas, or with tortillas and a green salad. If hot chillies are a little too much for you, feel free to substitute with baby bell peppers. Any leftover cashew cheese will keep for up to five days in the fridge (it's great with pasta!). For our non-vegan friends, you can substitute the cashew cheese with ricotta or soft goats cheese if you'd like.
Roasted Chillies Stuffed with Cashew Cheese
Makes approximately 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking time and overnight setting time
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 200g cashew nuts, soaked in cold water overnight or a minimum of 4 hours
- 50-75ml cold water for blending
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 mixed fat red and green chillies such as Jalapeños
- olive oil for roasting and frying
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
- Zest of a lemon
- 3 tbsp chives, chopped finely
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped finely
- pinch of Aleppo chilli flakes
- black pepper
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place in a blender with half the water, the lemon juice, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and salt.
- Blend till very smooth, adding more water if necessary to help the nuts to process, then taste and adjust the flavour as you may want to add more of the seasonings.
- Scrape the cashew mixture into a muslin lined sieve over a bowl, twist the ends together, and place in the fridge overnight to drain and firm up.
- Heat the oven to 200C°.
- Place the whole chillies in a roasting tin and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Roast for 10 -15 minutes or until they are just softening and the skin is blistered.
- Allow the chillies to cool enough to handle, then using a small sharp knife, carefully slit a chilli open from just below the stalk to almost the end tip.
- Carefully scoop out the seeds and discard. Repeat with the remaining chillies.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the breadcrumbs till golden and crisp.
- Add the garlic to the breadcrumbs and continue to cook until fragrant. Add half the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon each of the chopped herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and decant into a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove the cashew cheese from the muslin, and empty into a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining chopped fresh herbs, remaining lemon zest, Aleppo chilli flakes and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning to suit.
- Fill a piping bag with the cashew cheese mixture and pipe a little into the cavity of each chilli. Alternatively, using two teaspoons, carefully fill each cavity with the cashew cheese.
- Top each chilli with a spoonful of the breadcrumbs and then either serve at once or pop into a hot oven for a few minutes to warm through.
Find more inspiration with sweet peppers and chillies, check out Rachel's October 2017 column inVegetarian Living magazine.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram where we are chatting about all things foodie and, if you like this post, please share it!
To keep up to date with events and goings on at the cookery school sign up for our newsletter.