Cashew Queso with Red Pepper Relish

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

4 fluid ounces coconut oil
9–10 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cups red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
2½ tablespoons chipotles in adobo 
1 cup sun-dried tomato
5 cups water
1½ cups raw cashews
2 tablespoons kosher salt
⅔ cup nutritional yeast
Optional: 1 jalapeño, sliced
Optional: Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

In a large pot such as a Dutch oven, add coconut oil and garlic cloves, onions, peppers. Sweat the vegetables until soft and translucent.

Add spices, chipotles, sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.

Add water, cashews and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in nutritional yeast.

In small batches in your blender, blend until smooth and creamy.

Strain through a sieve.

Red Pepper Relish

1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup roasted red peppers
¼ medium-sized shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 pinch kosher salt 

Drain roasted red peppers and finely dice.

Mince shallots and fold into diced red peppers.

Bring sugar, salt and vinegar to boil in a small pan, until sugar is dissolved.

Pour over pepper and shallot mixture and let it cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Assembly 

Heat queso in a small saucepot or in a microwave-safe dish.

Garnish queso with red pepper relish, jalapeño slices and cilantro leaves.

Serve with tortilla chips or sliced veggies.

Recipe courtesy of

Ashley Ucan is executive chef of Vital Root.

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