Amidst the dramatic national news, what are ordinary people to do? Host friends from out of town and cook vegan food, of course! Our friend Adi stayed with us for a few days, and I decided to treat him to a special breakfast pie. Imagine my joy when the one and only Noa Shalev, whose vegan cheese course you absolutely must take, emailed us an amazing gift for Shavuot–an e-book full of festive special recipes, which she graciously allowed us to share.

I wanted to make one of the pies, but I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, so I improvised. The outcome was stunningly delicious, not too sweet, and fragrant with herbal aroma. You’ll find Noa’s recipes in the booklet; mine follow. My recipe makes two small (2.5”-3”) pies. You’ll need two round dessert rings or large cookie cutters (I use the same ones I use for my cheeses.)

5 pitted dates
1/3 cup almonds, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water
1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked for 10 mins in boiling water
1-2 tsp maple syrup
juice from 1/2 orange
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Earth Balance
3 drops lavender essential oil
2 lavender tips

Place dates and almonds in food processor and process until sticky and coarsely chopped. Place both dessert rings on a plate and squeeze half of the mix into each dessert ring, using your fingers to compress the crust at the bottom of each ring. Place plate with rings and crust on it in freezer.

Then, drain cashews and pine nuts and place in blender with all other ingredients. Blend until creamy and smooth. Take plate with rings and crusts out of the fridge and pour cashew/pine nut mixture into the rings, on top of the crusts (you might need a spatula to get all the goodness out of the blender.) Return plate to freezer for about half an hour, or until top solidifies but is not yet frozen.

Shortly before serving, garnish each mini-pie with lavender tip. If you like, serve with a nice fruit salad (I add chopped lavender and mint to my fruit – good stuff.)

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