This versatile spread can be used in place of mayo for a dairy-free sandwich spread, mixed with chopped fresh herbs to make a creamy, no-cream salad dressing or drizzled over top of nachos instead of sour cream. It’s a also a great dip. Add some grated garlic for an aioli-like dipper or use the cream as a base for french onion dip, perfect for serving a crowd or an afternoon snack.
If using a high powered blender, as recommended, there's no need to soak the cashews. If using a classic blender or food processor, soak the cashews in warm water for an hour for before blending for best results. —Grant Melton
1 1/2 cups
neutral oil (like grapeseed, safflower or sunflower oil)
Place the cashews, water, oil, lemon juice and salt into the carafe of a high powered blender. Turn the blender on to its lowest speed. With the blender running, slowly turn the speed dial of the blender up until it has reached the highest speed. Let the blender run on high for about 30 seconds. Turn the speed all the way down and then turn off the blender. Using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the carafe and the lid and then repeat the blending process once more. If the mixture has yet to reach a creamy consistency after the second blend, continue the blending process until smooth. The mixture have a more spreadable consistency after it’s chilled so don’t worry if it looks a little loose.
Pour the mixture into a glass jar and store in the fridge for a few weeks.
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, NYT Cooking and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. He loves cookies, cocktails and kindness.