Khatchapuri is a Georgian cheese bread – not unlike an American pizza or a Turkish pide – and it was my absolute favorite thing to eat during the year that I lived in Moscow. The key to a delicious khatchapuri is a good salty, pungent, tangy, creamy cheese. A bit of a problem for a vegan. When I was still eating the stuff, I’d use a combination of feta and cream cheese, both readily available items here in the States, while whatever cheese Georgians use for theirs is probably not.
I haven’t made khatchapuri since I went vegan well over a year ago, but VeganMoFo is demanding all the culinary shenanigans that I’ve got – so I decided to tackle one of my most-missed food items. I’ve seen recipes for khatchapuri that call for something called farmer cheese, which I guess has the requisite consistency and tart pungency. I considered making tofu feta, but the recipes I’ve seen call for a lot of olive oil and I’m just not going there. I went somewhere else completely. The resulting creamy, very salty (without salt), lemony cheez kinda blew off my socks. Tofu, once again, your versatility and chameleon-like abilities amaze me.
For my vegan khatchapuri, click here.
- 1 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, pressed for ~30 minutes and drained
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (or raw cashew pieces*), soaked in water**, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I prefer almond)
- 1/4 cup mellow white miso paste
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Cut off one-third of the block of tofu and crumble into a blender. Add the sunflower seeds (or cashew pieces), non-dairy milk, miso paste, vinegar, soy sauce, onion flakes, garlic and lemon juice and process until very smooth.
- Crumble the remaining two-thirds of the tofu into a medium-sized bowl. Add the lemon zest, cilantro and black pepper. Stir in the tofu-miso mixture; taste and adjust seasonings. Pour/scrape into an air-tight container. Let tofu cheese sit for several hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. The cheese will firm up as it sets.
- *My original recipe called for cashews, but I rarely eat them now. Whichever you use, the result is tasty.
- **Sunflower seeds don't require as long a soaking time. I soak them for about 30 minutes - the same amount of time needed for pressing the tofu. Cashews will need a couple of hours, especially if you will not be using a high-speed blender.
- This makes a super tasty pita filling - as is - no cooking/baking. Add fresh lettuce, Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, etc.