We are starting to get heirloom tomatoes at the co-op.  Finally!  I found a couple recipes online today - and made an amazing dinner from almost all local ingredients (while watching Farmageddon).  Support local farms!!!!

So, I made tomato stacks with cashew cheese and vegan pesto, along with my “Italian Flag” salad.  Here are the recipes:

I got the tomato recipe from We Like it Raw - and modified it slightly.  I also made 1/4 of the recipe (just for me) - so also modified the proportions - although I made the full amount of cashew cheese and pesto to use later for other dishes (zucchini rollatini tomorrow!).

Pesto & Cheese Tomato Stacks

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 recipe pesto cheese (*see recipe below)
  • 1 recipe pesto (*see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouts
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted, sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts (I actually ran out of pine nuts/used in the pesto - they are expensive; but didn’t need them to top - the recipe is rich enough)

To assemble:

The original recipe called to just half the tomatoes - I actually cut them into 5 pieces to make it a taller stack.  I also made sure to season each tomato slice with Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper.  Place bottom piece of tomato on a plate and top with a spoonful or so the cheese mixture, top that with another tomato slice.  Top that slice with a spoonful or so of the pesto mixture. Repeat with tomato slice, cheese and pesto until you are out of tomato slices. Top with sprouts, pine nuts and olives.

Sun Dried Tomato Cheese 


  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for 20 minutes, up to 2 hours
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 - 2 tsp of lemon zest (not in original recipe; but gives it a great flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, opt, not raw
  • Raw Tahini - did not call for in original recipe - about 1/8 cup
  • Mellow White Miso - did not call for in original recipe - about 1/8 cup
  • I also added about 1 tablespoon of Garlic Scapes (when in season)
  • Filtered water, add as needed

Blend ingredients on a high speed blender until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed, 1 teaspoon at a time. 

I took half the cheese and added in approximately the following (half would be the appropriate recipe - I tend to eyeball things) - kept the other half “plain” cashew cheese:

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic - Instead of garlic cloves, I used Garlic Scapes which are in season now - YUM!!!
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

Pesto Sauce


  • 1 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (this is what the recipe called for - I added this through the top/opening as I processed everything and added more oil - it needed it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until creamy. 

For the salad - I used Bobby Flay’s Recipe - it makes 4-6 servings, as below:


  • 2 spears endive, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
  • About 1/3 pound baby arugula, washed, dried, and thinly chopped


Combine all 3 lettuces in large bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, and oil together in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.