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Platter of fried almond cheese balls with basil & marinara dipping sauce.
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5 from 1 vote

Fried almond cheese balls

These delicate almond cheese balls are beautifully browned & crisp on the outside. On the inside, they're beautifully light and creamy.
Serve them on their own, with warmed marinara, cold cocktail sauce, or your choice of dipping sauce.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Cooling Time3 hrs
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: almond cheese, fried appetizers
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson

Ingredients

Almond cheese

Breading

Instructions

  • Put blanched almonds, lemon juice, olive brine, extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, water, and garlic cloves into a high-speed blender. (If you don't have a high-speed blender, see the workaround tips in the notes section.)
    Blend until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides for even blending, if necessary.
  • Once fully blended, put the lid on the blender jar (or move it to a separate container if necessary) and put it into the refrigerator. Allow it to cool for several hours.
    While it cools, it will continue to thicken. You can refrigerate it for as few as three hours or as much as 4 or 5 days.
  • Once you are ready to finish the recipe & the almond mixture has firmed enough that you can form it into balls, continue with the rest of the steps.
    Start by making a breading station. On a dinner plate, combine panko breadcrumbs with dried oregano, dried basil, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper.
    Put out another empty plate to hold the breaded balls before frying.
  • Use a heaping Tablespoon to measure the almond cheese out of the blender. Then roll it into a ball with your hands.
    Roll it in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Then put it on the empty plate. Continue until all of the cheese balls are breaded.
    (If you run out of breadcrumb mixture, add more breadcrumbs & seasonings to the plate.)
  • Fill a non-stick skillet with about an inch of organic canola oil. Bring it to a medium high heat. Drop a breadcrumb into the skillet. If oil immediately bubbles around it, it's ready to use.
  • Put several of the breaded almond cheese balls into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd, and work in batches, if necessary.
    As the balls brown, rotate them, so that they are evenly cooked on all sides. Then move them to a towel lined plate to drain.
    Continue until all of the cheese balls are fried.
  • Once all of the balls are evenly fried, top them with another pinch of salt. Serve them on their own, with marinara, or your choice of dipping sauce.

Notes

For the almonds, you can either use store-bought blanched almonds, or remove the skins from raw almonds before adding them to the blender. For more information, check out this post on how to blanch almonds.
There is enough liquid in this recipe that if you have a high speed blender, you don't have to soak the almonds first.
However, if you have a standard blender, I recommend soaking the almonds in hot water for about 15 minutes before blending. Then drain and continue with the recipe as written. Or you can grind the dry blanched almonds in a clean coffee grinder until it has the texture of flour. Then add it to the blender & continue with the recipe.
(I don't recommend replacing the almonds with store-bought almond flour, however, because the amounts won't translate the same. A cup of dry almonds don't equal a cup of almond flour.)
For the olive brine, use the liquid that's right in the jar of olives. I use Castelvetrano olive brine, which have a lighter, brighter flavor. However, any olive juice can be used. Or use the juice from a jar of sauerkraut or pepperoncini peppers (not hot peppers).

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg