Rosemary Honey “Cheese” with Figs and a Balsamic Reduction

by Susan on July 23, 2012

When fresh figs make an appearance at the market, my heart skips a beat. I love everything about them. Their beautiful shape and the deep colors remind me of a renaissance painting. The soft, pink  fruit is delicately sweet. The texture starts with firm flesh that yields to the juicy interior intermingled with crunchy seeds. Truly a chef’s dream, their flavor really shines when paired with other ingredients that they in turn enhance. 

Figs are high in potassium which protects your heart and high in fiber. They help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and protect your bones with a healthy serving of calcium. They are not just beautiful, they are smart, too! 

This raw food recipe has it all. A rosemary honey “cheese” (no dehydrator needed) spiked with shallots is topped with a balsamic reduction that is easily done in the dehydrator. Rosemary almond pepper crackers provide the base for the cheese and the star … figs.

By combining and layering the flavors, you get a delicious, gourmet treat that takes surprisingly little time to prepare! A little advanced planning and you have a delightful treat for even the fussiest foodies. An alternative way to serve would be to slice the figs and top with the “cheese”. Don’t be intimidated by the directions. Actual time that you are touching food is very small. Read through the directions first and you will see!

Rosemary Honey “Cheese”

  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 large probiotic capsules (or one teaspoon probiotic powder)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped fine and divided in half
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons honey (not vegan….you can substitute agave nectar)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to taste

1. Place soaked macadamia nuts and water in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Stir in probiotic powder and lemon juice.

2. Line sieve with cheesecloth. Pour in nut mixture, fold cheesecloth over the top and set on a plate.

3. Leave out to culture for 24 hours.

4. Transfer to bowl and stir in half the rosemary, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Remove 1/2 cup and set the rest aside.

5. To the 1/2 cup, stir in the remaining rosemary, honey and shallot. Mix well.

6. In a 3 1/2-inch baker’s ring, layer 2/3 of the main mixture, the shallot mixture, then the remaining 1/3 of the main mixture. I use this ring: HIC Stainless Steel Food Ring, 3-1/2-Inch
7. Place in refrigerator to set for a few hours. 

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 cup good quality, aged raw balsamic vinegar  (most balsamic is not raw…check your sources)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (not vegan, you can substitute agave nectar)

1. Place one cup of the balsamic vinegar in a shallow glass dish in the dehydrator. Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight or until reduced to 1/3 cup. 

2. Stir in honey. 

Assembly

  • Fresh Figs, quartered
  • “Cheese”
  • Rosemary Almond Crackers (recipe will be posted later this week)
  • Balsamic Reduction

1. Spread “cheese” on crackers, top with fig and a drizzle of  Balsamic Reduction. 

 Look for the cracker recipe on Wednesday!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

this is lemonade July 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

oh.wow.
That cheese round looks amazing. I think I need to pin it so I can ogle it again ;)
Looking forward to the cracker recipe – they look delicious too!

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sheryl July 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Looks super yummy! The first day of figs is always a big deal at my house, too. What brand of raw balsamic vinegar did you find?

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Kammie @ Sensual Appeal July 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Wow the images are simply stunning! Great creation, my dear.

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Susan July 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Bariani makes one. Cheers!

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Alyssa July 24, 2012 at 12:04 am

Absolutely gorgeous!

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Kasandra Bracken July 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

Wow… this looks incredibly BEAUTIFUL. Rich and velvety. Smooth and silky. Food porn, but the kind you don’t feel bad about! Thanks for sharing :)

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Eileen July 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Wow–this sounds amazing! I’ve made some raw nut cheeses before, but haven’t ever actually cultured them. Super intrigued to try it out! (And of course beautiful fresh figs never hurt anything.)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

oh my gosh that looks SERIOUSLY delicious! yUMMM!

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Angela July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

This looks amazing- Are the probiotics essential to making the nut cheese, or can it be omitted?

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Susan July 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

They are not essential but give the “cheese” a distinct tart flavor. If you don’t use them, I would put it in the refrigerator for setting up and draining. Cheers!

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Ashley July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

What particular probiotic capsules are you using?

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Robyn July 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Fancy, shmancy looking!! The flavours sound oh so delishes :)

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Amy @ fragrantvanillacake July 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

This sounds amazing! I have been in love with all nut cheeses lately! The rosemary would be so delicious, I need to try this :)!

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Bella July 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

The recipe looks really yummy! Can I skip using probiotic powder if I don’t have it?

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Carol July 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Woohoo! I’m having this tomorrow! Thank you, Susan! Hope to get a nice pic to post on your FB group page :-) Cheers!!

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Ksenija July 27, 2012 at 1:31 am

This cheese looks just amazing! Is it soft or hard?
I would definitely like to try and make my own vegan/raw cheese. Plus in combination with figs? Genius!

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villarosa July 30, 2012 at 6:17 am

OH my ~ looks so delish!! Am anxiously waiting for cracker recipe you promised for last Wednesday ~Smile…. LIFE ~ yours must be as busy as mine! Smile…. Thanks for the great recipes!

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Susan July 30, 2012 at 10:06 am

It was posted yesterday. :-)

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Carol July 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Thia looks amazing. I am wondering if the cheese can be made just with the probiotics and no yeast as I am on a yeast free diet. Thank you Susan for this recipe and your blog on eating healthy…I so agree. Let’s let guilt out of the picture. and health in… Thank you for being who you are and sharing your uniqueness. Blessings

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Susan July 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

The yeast is just for flavor so you can leave it out. But you should look into whether you can have nutritional yeast even if you are yeast free. It is a different beast. Cheers!

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Julie August 3, 2012 at 8:36 am

This is wonderful! I just had to try this recipe when I saw it. I had something similar a few years back and loved it, only it was not vegan. Part of the reason Ive become so unhealthy is my bad snacking habits over the past few years. This is a perfect answer for me, and I was satified after three servings. The taste of the crackers was the perfect compliment to the cheese, and the balsamic vinegar was the perfect finishing touch. This is a keeper, I’ll definately make this again!

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claire August 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

your recipes look so beautiful–and your photograpy and styling is just great. I’m trying out some recipes now. Wondering about how long this one lasts in the fridge. I’m doing a cleanse right now and then planning on going raw, so I’m making some foods so that I can be a little ahead of the game. Mostly, I’m making crackers and chips but I’m anxious to try this! Also, what do the probiotics change the consistancy? What do they do to the “cheese”? thanks!

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Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z August 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I am a first time visitor to your blog and am blown away with the fabulous looking recipes and photos! I am a long time vegetarian trying to become vegan. Can’t wait to try this recipe and many others.

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Wparker August 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

This ingredient list shows lemon juice but don’t see it in the directions? Where does it go in? Thanks!

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Susan August 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm

It is listed in step 1. Right at the end. “1. Place soaked macadamia nuts and water in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Stir in probiotic powder and lemon juice.”

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Wparker August 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Ah! My printer left that out! Shucks…what will happen if I don’t have the lemon juice in it before it “cultures”?

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Susan August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

It is for flavor so you should be fine. I would still add it in. Cheers!

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Ashley February 3, 2013 at 10:29 am

Can you freeze this? I make raw cheesecake and desserts and they freeze well. Just wondered if this would hold up well? The shallots make me question it.

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Susan February 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I have not tried freezing this recipe. :-)

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Jenny February 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

Great recipe! Love the fig and rosemary together. I did the balsamic reduction with a strawberry blasamic vin. Totally fabulous! Thx fit the ideas!

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Ashley March 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Why do you dehydrate the balsamic vinegar?

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Susan March 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Ashley, to get the reduction. It gets nice and thick. Cheers!

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cj healey March 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

instead of using probiotic powder and lemon juice, could you use home made rujuvelac?

can you provide a link to the type of probiotic powder you use?

many thanks.

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Susan March 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Hi, CJ, I don’t use any specific probiotic powder. You could use rejuvelac but I can’t tell you a specific substitution. You are substituting a dry powder with a wet liquid so it throws off the ingredients. This is a recipe I have done with rejuvelac: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-vegan-cheese/

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cj healey March 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm

sorry, i left this out of my question…
i should have said if the answer is yes to the rejuvelac, how much would you add and when would you add it?

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Sonja April 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Trying this for sure! Having given up dairy cheese is what I miss the most! that and croissants….

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Sandra April 15, 2013 at 4:06 am

I just made this, it is unbelievable! Divine!! Best crackers and best cheese I’ve ever had! ;-)

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elysa May 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

what is a sieve? is there a specific type? and is there a specific cheese cloth?

thank you

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Holly October 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Hi! Just made this recipe and it is really good! I was also wondering about freezing it because I can’t bear to waste any!… Has anyone tried?

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Susan October 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I have frozen cashew creams but not cashew cheeses. You can always try and report back!!

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Leonie October 24, 2013 at 5:34 am

This will be great for me to give a go I have just purchased a dehydrator and am looking for recipes and this looks divine.

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jessica November 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I have a question; I don’t have a probiotic CAPSULE, however, I do have a ”probiotic synergy” supplement that is a white round little ”pill” from a health food store. I compared it to the capsules, and it literally has the same exact ingredients. If I crushed this so it was powder, could I use this to supplement the capsule? thanks!

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Susan November 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Honestly, I don’t know. It should work. Probiotics are more for health and flavor, not consistency. Cheers!

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Abbey February 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

Hi, I’ve left it to culture for 24 hours but have now realised I don’t like the consistency. I didn’t get it smooth enough when I blended it. Can I blend it again now before I add the other ingredients or will that ruin the work of the probiotic? Love your website by the way :-)

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