After spending the long weekend at my parents house in Cincinnati, I arrived back in New York just in time for a rainy Tuesday of work. Despite the abrupt jolt back into the work week and homesickness I always feel after spending a few days at home (yes, at 28, I still call my parents’ house “home”…), I was energized by the promise of summer and cheerily planned to fill my refrigerator with produce. On my way out the door for the grocery store, I was intercepted by a flower delivery for my boyfriend and I’s 5th anniversary. As I called him to thank him for the “shoe delivery” I had been instructed to wait for and arranged the flowers around our apartment, everything felt like it was exactly as it should be.
Given my summer-inspired veggie hunt, I wanted to make a sauce to compliment roasted vegetables and salads through the rest of the week. I found a version of this recipe in the Haven Kitchen’s Cooking School cookbook and have since lightly adapted it and used it as a go-to. While I was initially intimidated by the prep work of soaking cashews….“plan in advance? who me?”…I’ve found this sauce to be incredibly quick, easy, and accessible. My only warning is to be sure to use a low flavor oil, such as grapeseed (no olive oil!).
This keeps for several days in the fridge and is most handy when made in large batches to throw over just about anything. I’ve successfully served it with grain bowls, eggs, wraps, chicken and fish. For salads, I recommend thinning it with some water and vinegar (to taste…start small!).
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 fistfuls of cilantro + more to taste
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 2 tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil
- 2 cups of water
- Fine sea salt
- Soak. Soak cashews in at least 2 cups of water for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight). Alternatively, they can be boiled on the stove-top until soft (~30 min) if you, like me, frequently forget prep work. When finished, drain, saving several tablespoons of the “cashew water” to be used in the sauce.
- Blend. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, including 2 tablespoons of the cashew water to start. Blend, continuing to add grapeseed oil or water as needed to get the mixture moving in the blender.
- Taste. Sample and add lemon juice, cilantro, grapeseed oil, salt, or water as needed to reach desired flavor and consistency.