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Almond “Feta” with Herb Oil

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + soaking Bake: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    1-1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blanched 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

Directions

  • 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 4 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-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.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons (calculated without crackers): 122 calories, 12g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 249mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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