Blanched almonds give this cheese appetizer a rich texture. Unbaked, it’s smooth and spreadable, while baking makes it crumbly like feta. It’s easy to make ahead.—Mary Raymond, Chesterfield, Missouri
Prep: 25 min. + soaking
Bake: 35 min. + chilling
- 1 cup blanched Diamond of California® Almonds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- Assorted crackers
- Rinse almonds in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add water to cover by 3 in. Cover and let stand overnight.
- Drain and rinse almonds, discarding liquid. Transfer to a food processor. Add 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons oil, garlic and salt; cover and process for 5-6 minutes or until pureed.
- Line a large strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour almond mixture into prepared strainer; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Refrigerate overnight.
- Squeeze out any liquid; remove cheesecloth and discard liquid from bowl.
- Transfer ball to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; flatten slightly into a 6-in. circle.
- Bake at 200° for 35-40 minutes or until firm.
- Cool. Refrigerate until chilled.
- In a small skillet, heat the thyme, rosemary and remaining oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Drizzle over almond mixture.
- Serve with crackers.
- Yield: 1-1/2 cups.
Nutrition Facts: 2 tablespoons (calculated without crackers) equals 122 calories, 12 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 249 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.