Last week on Valentine’s Day my mom hosted a luncheon for her daughters (me and my two sisters) and our daughters (Eden and my two nieces).  It was a very nice occasion to get together; we watched the little ones run around chasing each other, made valentines cards out of contruction paper, and hunted for hidden treasures.  At the lunch my mom served a stacked salad inspired by this. I, of course, then got inspired to make my own version because I can’t imagine a more elegant way to enjoy a fresh salad.

Originally I was planning on using Diaya spreadable cheese to stack in between pears and arugula, but with a desire to eat less processed foods and more raw foods I realized this dish was the perfect time to try making a raw nut cheese.


Vegan Goat Cheese Stacked Salad
Makes 2

1 large pear
1 large handful of fresh arugula or mixed greens
2-3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
2-3 tbsp dried cherries

Macadamia Nut “Goat” Cheese
Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Macadamia Nut “Goat” Cheese
Makes about 3/4 cup

1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked 8-10 hours
1 tbsp unpasteurized white miso
2-3 tbsp water, as needed
pinch of salt
2-3 tsp lemon juice

Drain and rinse the macadamia nuts.

In a food processor or powerful blender mix together nuts, miso, salt and water (as needed) until it forms a smooth paste. You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a couple times. Transfer onto a double layer cheesecloth, wrap into a small log, and let cheese to sit out for  12- 36 hours in a warm area of the house; the cheese becomes more tangy and salty as it sits.

Remove cheese from cheesecloth and adjust flavors (if necessary) by adding lemon juice and/or salt. Store in the refrigerator.

Sweet Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

2-3 tbsp raw agave
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a blender combine agave, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. With motor running, slowly add olive oil until thick and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator.


To assemble the salad: Core the pear and slice it into thin slices. Place few leafs of arugula on a plate and cover with a pear slice. Top the pear with a few hazelnut-sized pieces of nut cheese and a couple of dried cherries. Layer with a couple more small pieces of arugula and repeat 4 times. It will look like this:

goat cheese & cherries
goat cheese & cherries

It will also look like this:


Top with cheese, cherries and a few crushed hazelnuts and finish with Sweet Apple Cider Vinegar. Serve immediately.


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