Classic lox and cream cheese go plant-based with this recipe created by Bonnie Shuman, in-house executive chef at Weavers Way Co-op in eastern Pennsylvania. Shuman replaces smoked salmon with her version of cured carrots. Cashew cheese, a vegan chef’s secret ingredient, substitutes for traditional cream cheese.
Shuman says, “One of my favorite things to do is take popular dishes and find new and exciting ways to make them vegan friendly. Not only does this dish look like the real things, but it also tastes similar with texture and salty taste. Carrots are perfect for this recipe because it imitates the texture of lox. I like to serve this as an hors d’oeuvre on slices of baguette, but it can certainly be served on a delicious bagel as well.”
Ingredients for the lox:
1 pound unpeeled carrots (the thicker in circumference, the better)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons mirin
4 tablespoons beet juice
Ingredients for the cream cheese:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinse
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon. salt
2 tablespoons capers
4 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
very thinly sliced red onion
- Wrap the carrots in foil and bake for 45-60 minutes – they should be cooked throughout, but still firm.
- Drain the carrots and lay on paper towels and pat any excess liquid off with another paper towel, the carrot ribbons should be pretty dry.
- Remove the outer skin of the carrot gently with a peeler.
- Once the outer skin is removed, press the peeler firmly at the root end and make strips (remember you are trying to create wide ribbons that are meant to resemble thinly sliced smoked salmon).
- Place the carrot strips in a bowl and add the liquid ingredients, tossing the carrot strips to coat the surface of the strips evenly.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two days.
- Meanwhile, place the cashews, lemon juice and salt in a high-speed blender.
- Add 2/3 cup of water and blend until very smooth.
- Add more water slowly if the mixture is too thick.
- Spread ” cream cheese” on each slice of toasted baguette or bagel, and top each with the carrot ribbon (Shuman likes to twirl the ribbon into a rosette, but not exactly necessary).
- Garnish with capers, dill and red onion.
- Serve and enjoy!
About Weavers Way
At its two farm locations, Weavers Way grows more than 50 different types of vegetables and fruit to supply its co-op stores and farmers markets with fresh produce. Through its nonprofit, Food Moxie, community members and students can have a hands-on experience working in the gardens and earning about growing fresh fruits and vegetables.
Suggest pairing: A food friendly sparkling rosé like Brendel Young Leon Frizzante Rosé (Demeine Estates). Brendel (Napa) wines are made from biodynamically farmed grapes. Director of Winemaking: Brittany Sherwood.