Tomatoes, basil, and cheese is a well-loved, classic combination. But my curious heart has always wanted to make a vegan version. Introducing, “meta feta”: a spreadable sunflower seed “cheese” with tons of flavor and versatility, perfect for salads, sandwiches, and filling wraps.
This dish is delicious all year round, but because the main attraction is tomatoes you’ll have the most delicious results in late summer, when they’re at their peak of ripeness.
Sunflower Meta Feta
- 3 cups / 420g raw, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large garlic clove
- ¼ cup / 60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¹⁄³ cup / 80ml water
- 3 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 pinches of fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- ½ garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 4 medium tomatoes, in season if possible
- Flaky sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Make the Meta Feta: Place the soaked and drained sunflower seeds, salt, garlic clove, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the seeds. Turn the motor on and drizzle the water into the machine in a thin stream as the mixture is processed. Stop a few times to scrape down the bowl. You’re aiming for the texture of a thick, chunky hummus; add just enough additional water (up to ½ cup / 125ml) to achieve that texture. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before using. This will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Caper Dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, garlic, and capers. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
- To serve, spread ½ cup / 125g of the Meta Feta on a large platter or serving dish. Slice the tomatoes and lay them across the top. Season the salad with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the basil leaves, and drizzle the Caper Dressing over the top.
- Rollover - Use the extra Meta Feta from this recipe to make the Eggplant Cannelloni with Sunflower Feta and Toasted Garlic Tomato Sauce.
Excerpted from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton. Copyright © 2017 Sarah Britton. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.