Summer "amuse bouche"
These raw appetizers are a delicious way to "amuse the mouths" of your guests before dinner is served on a hot summer evening. Use about 1 tomato per person, and if you have less than 8 people to serve, you may end up with leftover cashew creem (which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it?).
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours
½ cup filtered water
¼ tsp sea salt
5-8 cocktail tomatoes (larger than cherry tomatoes, rounder than plum tomatoes)
1 medium clove garlic
about ½ cup fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Drain and rinse the cashews and put them in a blender or food processor (fitted with the smaller work bowl if you have one), along with the fresh water and salt. Give it a whirl until the cashews are as smooth as they’re ever gonna be. You’ll need to stop the motor, scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a silicone spatula, and whirl again at least twice. Set aside
Cut the tomatoes width-wise into almost-1/2-inch slices, discarding the ends. Place the slices in one layer on your serving plate. Press the clove of garlic over the plate of tomatoes so that just a little bit of crushed garlic hits each slice of tomato. Dollop about a heaping teaspoon of cashew creem onto each tomato slice. Press 1-3 basil leaves (depending on their size) onto the ‘creem’. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.
Makes up to 8 servings. (Prepared, they don't keep all that well so try to make just enough for all your eaters.)