Kale with Hazelnuts, Pear, and Macadamia “Goat Cheese” in a Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Making  goat style cheese out of macadamia nuts is surprisingly simple. I always have a stash of raw organic macadamia nuts in my freezer to create this soft tangy cheese that is delicious in a variety of recipes, all of which I will eventually share with you!  Once cultured you can roll it in fresh herbs, cracked peppercorns, or dried cranberries and cinnamon.

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I have tried a variety of probiotics when making nut cheese and have found that using a simple acidophilus capsule works best. The more expensive blends that are powdered and grey in colour produce a less white cheese with a strange odour!  Begin making your cheese 2 days before you plan to make this recipe!

The Cheese:

  • 2 cups of raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon of acidophilus powder ( 2-3 capsules)
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Blend the soaked macadamia nuts, and water in a high speed blender until silky smooth. A vitamix works best but if you just have a conventional blender the mixture will need a little more coaxing with a spatula to achieve the same smooth result. Add the acidophilus and blend again briefly to mix. Adding it at the end prevents it from overheating and killing the probiotic.

Transfer the mixture to a strainer lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth.

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Twist the cheesecloth up around the mixture and then place a weight on top of it to allow the excess water to drip down into a bowl beneath. You can use a water filled mason jar or a large clean rock as a weight.

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Cover the weighted cheese with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature on your counter to culture for 24 hours. The speed at which the mixture ferments will depend on the temperature of your kitchen. I find that in the winter that the whole process happens more slowly and I will often need to leave it for an additional 12 hours or so. You will know when it is ready as it develops as bit of a sour fermented odour and taste. When ripe, the consistency of the cheese is less smooth. It is a bit chunky when pulled apart and appears aerated!

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Stir the nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon juice into the fermented cheese and spoon it onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Form it into a 2 in. in diameter log and wrap the plastic wrap around it, twisting the ends to seal. Place it in the fridge over night to set up.

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Once set, cut the cheese into 3 or 4 in. logs and roll in your choice of toppings. For this salad, chives are delicious. Crushed black and pink peppercorns give a nice bite, and chopped cranberries and cinnamon are a little more festive!

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Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.

And now for the salad!

serves 4-6

  • one container of baby kale
  • 3 ripe organic bartlett pears, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup of toasted organic hazelnuts (or raw if preferred)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • sliced Macadamia “Goat Cheese”
  • Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

To roast the hazelnuts, place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Once the skins begin to darken, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Rub the hazelnuts between your palms. The skins should slide right off.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp. of raw honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl or measuring cup whisk together the honey, vinegar, salt, dijon mustard, and black pepper. Whisk the olive oil in at the end until well combined.

To assemble, toss the kale in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Distribute the kale on individual plates and then arrange the sliced Macadamia “Goat Cheese”, toasted hazelnuts, red onion slices, and pear slices on top. Drizzle with a little bit of additional dressing to serve along with extra fresh cracked pepper if desired!

One comment

  1. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers

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