Cashew Pimento Cheese
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked in boiling water overnight. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
- 2½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (substitute Hot Sauce if you don’t have Sriracha)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (substitute salsa if you don’t have tomato paste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons filtered water
- 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt (optional, replace with 2-3 teaspoons sumac)
- ¼ cup diced pimentos, drained
Soak the cashews overnight. (Quick soak methods are not advised as it can result in a grittier cheese.)
To prepare cashews: Add cashews to a bowl and pour boiling water over them by at least an inch. Cover and leave to sit overnight on your counter or 8 hours minimum. Drain them well.
Add the cashews and all other ingredients EXCEPT the pimentos to a food processor.
Process well, scraping down the sides, processing up to 5 minutes. It will seem gritty at first, but keep processing and it will become smooth and creamy.
Add the drained pimentos to the food processor and fold them in (do not blend them in), or add the cheese to a bowl and fold the pimentos in that way.
You can serve it immediately or store it in the fridge. Pimento cheese is supposed to be a soft, creamy spread, not a hard cheese so no need to firm up in the fridge before eating.
The cheese has a slightly spicy taste at first, but the flavors blend in and smooth out in a few hours.