In my dairy days I would fry a soft cheese such a brie or camembert in a similar manner, and it was a real treat. This isn't a firm replacement for the latter concept, but it's still tasty and it looks fancy (so it's a good dish to impress).
An easy starter, yes, but one which takes some planning ahead. You'll need to start with a batch of vegan labneh, so it's best to plan for this salad with a day or so worth of notice. You can make the dressing in advance, too. Add some pizazz by throwing in some thyme or other herbs if you'd like, to the dressing I mean, but for this I personally prefer an extremely basic, tangy vinaigrette. Raspberries and vinegar, with sugar to adjust the tartness.
Don't skimp on the mint and basil chiffonade, either. And if you can't pronounce that word, let alone be arsed to do it, just chop stuff up small and you'll be good to go.
Hazelnut Coated Dairy Free Yoghurt Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- First, prepare your dressing by simply placing the raspberries, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until the fruit begins to break down, and gently help them along by mashing with a wooden spoon as you stir. Add more sugar if it's a bit tart for your liking, or spice it up with a pinch of thyme. Sieve the seeds out and set aside to cool.
- Mix the salt, the ½ cup hazelnuts, and the labneh together, forming into approximately 8 balls. Roll each ball in the remaining hazelnuts until coated and press to flatten slightly.
- Add enough oil to cover ½ inch of a heavy bottomed pan or wok and heat to medium. Place a few cheese rounds into the oil at a time, careful to not overcrowd the pan, and fry on each side until browned (30 seconds - 1 minutes per side).
- Serve on a bed of your favourite salad leaves and drizzle lightly with the dressing. Sprinkle with the mint and basil chiffonade and some freshly ground black pepper.