Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

By Alissa | Last Updated: May 23, 2017

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew CheeseSponsored Recipe

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of ALDI.

Here we are in the middle of May, and just like that, summer cookout season is right around the corner. I’ll be honest: I’m not the best when it comes to grilling, I think that comes with the territory of being a vegetarian. I am, however, pretty darn amazing when it comes sides and snacks! When I head over to visit friends or family for a cookout (because that means the actual grilling is someone else’s job) you can count on me to bring something that will probably steal the show – and most of the time, no one even notices it’s vegan!

Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers for cookouts. It puts fresh spring and summer produce in the spotlight, everybody loves it, and it’s usually vegan by default. Because I like to go the extra mile, I like to also provide a cashew-based cheese to slather on my bread slices. Some creamy cheese is the way to make bruschetta extra special, and cashews are the way to make creamy cheese that’s vegan but still rich and delicious.

Another way to make bruschetta that’s extra impressive: have a variety of toppings! Since there’s so much available in the way of seasonal produce this time of year, I took full advantage and created three different bruschetta toppings for this recipe. You can pick your favorite, or make all three. Just be sure to triple all the non-topping ingredient (the bread and cashew cheese) if you opt to make all three at once.

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

The strawberry mojito bruschetta is made with lime, mint, and a little maple syrup for sweetness. For the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta, roast up some peppers and toss them with tangy balsamic vinegar and garlic. And the spicy tomato and Kalamata olive bruschetta gets a little bit of a kick from some red pepper flakes.

I grabbed my ingredients from ALDI, and their Specially Selected French Baguette is perfect for toasting. I especially love the fact that it’s a take-and-bake loaf, so I can buy it a few days in advance, then bake it on the day of serving and know it will taste fresh. I also was able to grab the produce I used in my bruschetta from ALDI, and at better prices than anywhere else local.

Everything was fresh and great quality too: the peppers crisp, and the strawberries ripe and juicy! This is great news to me because entertaining can be expensive! ALDI also has a great selection of premium products in their Specially Selected line, so I was able to get my hands on some great quality Kalamata olives also at a low price. I wanted a really good quality olive oil for my bruschetta, and the SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from ALDI was perfect. Many products from the SimplyNature line are organic, and they’re all free of artificial colors and flavors.

Check out ALDI’s store locator if you’d like to find out where you can get your hands on some of these products when you make your own bruschetta.

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 35 min

Serves: 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 Specially Selected French Baguette (see note)

For the creamy cashew cheese (see note):

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed

¼ cup Friendly Farms original unsweetened soy or almond milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon Stonemill iodized salt, plus more to taste

For the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping:

3 medium bell peppers, assorted colors (available in 3-packs at ALDI), finely diced

1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

¼ teaspoon Stonemill iodized salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon Stonemill ground black pepper

For the strawberry mojito bruschetta topping:

8 ounces fresh strawberries hulled and diced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 ½ teaspoons Specially Selected 100% maple syrup

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves

½ teaspoon lime zest

¼ teaspoon Stonemill ground black pepper

Pinch salt

For the spicy tomato & Kalamata olive bruschetta topping:

2 cups diced Roma tomatoes (about 4 medium tomatoes)

½ cup Specially Selected Kalamata olives, chopped

1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon Stonemill crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Pinch Stonemill iodized salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the baguette directly onto the oven rack and bake until lightly browned on the outside, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (Leave the oven on if you plan on making the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping.)

Prepare the creamy cashew cheese:

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Another way to make bruschetta that’s extra impressive: have a variety of toppings! Since there’s so much available in the way of seasonal produce this time of year, I took full advantage and created three different bruschetta toppings for this recipe. You can pick your favorite, or make all three. Just be sure to triple all the non-topping ingredient (the bread and cashew cheese) if you opt to make all three at once.

To make the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping:

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Place the diced peppers and olive oil into a roasting pan or oven-safe skillet and toss to coat. Place into the oven (already preheated to 375°F) and bake for 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned in spots, flipping once about halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

When the peppers have cooled down a bit, place them into a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients, then stir to combine.

To make the strawberry mojito bruschetta topping:

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.

To make the spicy tomato & Kalamata olive bruschetta topping:

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.

To finish and serve the bruschetta:

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Once the baguette is cool, preheat your oven’s broiler. Cut the baguette into ½ inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler. Broil just until the slices begin to brown on top, about 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning.

Slather the tops of the slices with the creamy cashew cheese, then spoon the bruschetta topping over the cheese.

Serve.

Notes:

Use 1 baguette and 1 batch of creamy cashew cheese for each topping you decide to make (so 3 baguettes and 3 batches if you make all three types).

 

Go to Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese recipe

Vegan Bruschetta (3 Ways!) with Creamy Cashew Cheese

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

15 minutes

Yield:

6-8 servings

ingredients:

  • 1 Specially Selected French Baguette (see note)
  • For the creamy cashew cheese (see note):

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Friendly Farms original unsweetened soy or almondmilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill iodized salt, plus more to taste
  • For the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping:

  • 3 medium bell peppers, assorted colors (available in 3-packs at ALDI), finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill iodized salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill ground black pepper
  • For the strawberry mojito bruschetta topping:

  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries hulled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Specially Selected 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon Stonemill ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • For the spicy tomato & Kalamata olive bruschetta topping:

  • 2 cups diced Roma tomatoes (about 4 medium tomatoes)
  • ½ cup Specially Selected Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Stonemill crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • Pinch Stonemill iodized salt
Print recipe

instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the baguette directly onto the oven rack and bake until lightly browned on the outside, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (Leave the oven on if you plan on making the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping.)
  2. Prepare the creamy cashew cheese:

  3. While the baguette bakes, place all ingredients for the creamy cashew cheese into a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You can add an extra splash or two of milk if needed, but don’t let the mixture get too thin.
  4. To make the balsamic bell pepper bruschetta topping:

  5. Place the diced peppers and olive oil into a roasting pan or oven-safe skillet and toss to coat. Place into the oven (already preheated to 375°F) and bake for 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned in spots, flipping once about halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  6. When the peppers have cooled down a bit, place them into a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients, then stir to combine.
  7. To make the strawberry mojito bruschetta topping:

  8. Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  9. To make the spicy tomato & Kalamata olive bruschetta topping:

  10. Place all ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  11. To finish and serve the bruschetta:

  12. Once the baguette is cool, preheat your oven’s broiler. Cut the baguette into ½ inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler. Broil just until the slices begin to brown on top, about 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning.
  13. Slather the tops of the slices with the creamy cashew cheese, then spoon the bruschetta topping over the cheese.
  14. Serve.

notes:

Use 1 baguette and 1 batch of creamy cashew cheese for each topping you decide to make (so 3 baguettes and 3 batches if you make all three types).

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