Cashews and carrots come together in this surprisingly savoury vegan spread. Think paté, carrot cashew paté, and spread thickly on gluten-free crackers, veggies, or slather on a crusty piece of bread as you would butter. Try this vegan paté the next time you need something interesting to add to a vegan charcuterie board.
You might want to try this paté with these crispy and crunchy, vegan, oil-free, seed crackers.
I first fell in love with the carrot spread years ago when I found it in Terry Walter's book Clean Start. Walter's recipe calls for miso paste, which is lovely and you should totally try it, but if you don't have miso paste I have a substitution for you.
Why you should make this vegan carrot paté
This vegan paté is carrot and cashew based with a good hit of savoury ingredients, making it just perfect for a vegan charcuterie board. It's savoury and interesting and adding just the right note of unami for entertaining.
I actually love it spread over the center of a celery stick, so much better than questionably neon cheese spread. But it will remind you of this treat - salty and creamy, and a bit orange.
Or make yourself a wrap or sandwich packed full of greens, sprouts, and cucumbers and thickly this carrot and cashew paté on one side. A fresh easy lunch.
Or simply, and my favourite way to serve this spread is next to a fresh bread basket. Serve instead of butter. This spread is rich and creamy, with the right level of saltiness. And vegan to boot, so you will feel slightly more virtuous.
Why this vegan paté recipe works
Normally you might think of carrots as an especially sweet vegetable and so, this carrot spread would also be kinda sweet. But no. It is actually very well balanced. Miso (or soy and a little tahini) adds umami and saltiness.
Carrots: The carrot base is just that, a neutral base, taking some salt and nuttiness from the cashews.
Cashews: add fat and creaminess, essentialy for texture. And exactly what you want in a buttery, paté-like spread
Miso: adds depth and complex flavour. And again, if you don't have miso keep reading.
Substitute for miso paste in this recipe
Miso is easier and easier to find these days, but I must admit, I have to go a little out of my way when I need to restock. I usually can't find it at my little local grocery store. And 10 years ago, when I first started making this recipe, well.... I had to travel to all far the corners of the city to find it. True story.
So I had to come up with a passable substitution for miso paste in this recipe. I found that soy sauce (for saltiness and some soy undertones) and tahini (for that umami, slightly earthy, not quite bitter-ness) make a passable substitute for miso.
This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of miso paste:
instead of miso paste use 2 tablespoons tahini paste + 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or a bit more to taste).
How to make carrot and cashew paté
Clean and roughly chop the carrots, cut the carrots into large-ish pieces. Place the carrots and cashews in a small or medium saucepan, cover with about 1 cup of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are fork-tender. About 10 minutes.
Save about ¼ cup of the cooking water, then drain the carrots and cashews. Place the carrots, cashews, reserved cooking water, and miso into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the s-blade and puree until smooth.
That is it!
A blender also works. Just pulse until the spread is smooth and creamy. With a blender you can over process, so go easy. I haven't tried an immersion blender, so I'm not sure if you will get good results.
Serving and storage
- Serve this carrot and cashew spread as you would hummus, with lots of fresh veggies to dip and crispy crackers. I like to sprinkle with sesame seeds or hemp seeds for texture.
- Serve next to your bread basket instead of butter or olive oil.
- Slather thickly on a wrap or sandwich and top with greens and fresh veggies.
This dip will keep for 3-4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.
Carrot Cashew Paté with Miso
- 2 large carrots
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoon miso paste or substitue 2 tablespoon tahini and 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Clean and peel carrots, removing ends. Cut into large chunks and put into a medium pot with stock (or water, if using water add a generous pinch of salt) and cashews. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until carrots are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon remove carrots and cashews and add to the bowl of a food processor along with miso (or tahini and soy sauce). With the food processor's motor running drizzle in about ¼ cup of the carrot cooking liquid. Continue to puree until the spread is relatively smooth. Add a bit more cooking liquid if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or room temperature.