Did you know that you can make your own vegan ricotta cheese—from nuts? This macadamia nut ricotta pairs perfectly with roasted beets and basil. This recipe comes from the new vegan cookbook by twin sisters Susan and Sandra Sellani: The 40-Year-Old Vegan: 75 Recipes to Make you Leaner, Cleaner and Greener in the Second Half of Life. Enjoy!Print
Intimidated by roasting beets? It’s easier than you think. The colors of this dish are as brilliant as the flavor. The orange and basil complement the beets and the creamy orange ricotta makes them taste like a classic Italian dessert.
Roasted Beet Ingredients
- 6 fresh beets, medium-sized
- 1 orange, peeled and sectioned (cut the wedges by slicing just inside the membrane for a perfect slice of orange, called a “supreme”)
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
- edible flowers or microgreens for garnish (optional)
Orange Macadamia Ricotta Ingredients
- ½ cup of macadamia nuts soaked in water for at least four hours, or overnight, and drained
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ teaspoon of fresh orange zest
- ¼ cup of orange juice
- ½ tablespoon of agave nectar
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
Beet Vinaigrette Ingredients
- ½ cup of raw fresh beet, cubed
- ⅓ cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- edible flowers for garnish (optional)
- microgreens for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut stems from beets and reserve for another use. (Stems can be cut and sautéed or put in soups wherever you might use greens.)
- Scrub the beets thoroughly. Wrap each beet loosely in foil while still wet (water will help steam them as they bake) and put on a baking sheet in oven for 50 minutes.
- While beets are baking, make ricotta by combining the drained macadamia nuts, water, orange juice, agave nectar, salt, and zest in a blender. You can also combine in a tall jar using an immersion blender. Put in fridge while preparing vinaigrette.
- Using a blender, mix Beets Vinaigrette ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- Remove beets from oven. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the beets’ skins with paper towel. Cut beets into quarters.
- Serve by placing a scoop of the macadamia ricotta on the bottom of the plate. Drizzle and splatter the beet vinaigrette around the perimeter of the plate. Place the beets on top of the ricotta. Add orange slices, fresh basil leaves for flavor and appealing plating. For an added visual, use edible flowers or microgreens.
Keywords: dairy-free, vegan ricotta, appetizer, Italian, vegan, vegetarian, beets, oranges, gluten-free
The Magic of Macadamia
Macadamia nuts make amazing ingredients for vegan cheeses and desserts due to their buttery nature. Blend them up with some nutritional yeast and salt for some vegan parm, milk ’em for a non-dairy beverage, or just eat them straight out of the bag! These awesome nuts are, of course, a great source of fat and protein and also contain high levels of iron, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and also calcium!
Storing Your Macadamia Nut Ricotta
If you find yourself with more macadamia nut ricotta than you need in one sitting, go ahead and pour the rest into an airtight jar and keep for up to a week. Freezing is not recommended since it would alter the consistency radically.
Meet the Authors
So what’s The 40-Year-Old Vegan cookbook all about? Sandra and Susan took their favorite childhood Italian recipes and gave them healthy, plant-based makeovers. The twins want people to know that it’s never too late to go vegan while enjoying the comfort foods of childhood which include Stuffed Pasta Shells, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Fennel Chili with Macadamia Sour Cream and Rocky Road “Nice” Cream.
The book also includes a 52-week plan to help anyone transition to a vegan lifestyle in a fun and easy way. And guess what? 10% of the author proceeds benefit the phenomenal farmed animal protection organization Mercy for Animals!
More Italian Cuisines to Try:
Vegan Macadamia Nut Ricotta recipe and photos by Susan and Sandra Sellani from The 40-Year-Old Vegan: 75 Recipes to Make You Leaner, Cleaner and Greener in the Second Half of Life. Article written by Michelle Cehn and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links that supports our work at World of Vegan.