This béchamel is made from creamy and delicious cashews that get their smooth texture after being soaked overnight. This recipe is perfect for lasagna, vegetable gratins, stuffed shells, and really anything that needs a touch of creaminess!

Cashew Béchamel [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons rice oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons rice flour
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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Preparation

To Make the Cashew Milk:
  1. Soak the cashews overnight, drain and rinse them, then throw them into the high-speed blender jar along with the water. Blend until smooth (about 2 minutes), then strain using a nut milk bag.
  2. Pour cashew milk into a glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Shake well before serving.
To Make the Béchamel:
  1. Place the rice oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, dump in the flour and stir it quickly into the oil. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, warm the milk in a separate saucepan. Pour in half a glass of the hot milk and stir well in order to loosen up the thick flour mixture.
  3. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking constantly, and bring it up to a simmer. When your béchamel starts to thicken, turn the stove down and cook, whisking, until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.
  4. Turn the stove off and add salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste.

Notes

There is room for adjustment in the quantity of milk. If you prefer a thick and sticky sauce, use less milk; if you need a looser and liquid béchamel, add some milk. You can also use a different type of oil (e.g. extra virgin olive oil), but keep in mind that rice oil has a unique delicate flavor, therefore another oil will inevitably yield another result. It is possible to use another type of flour.

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