PEPPERONI KALAMATA OLIVE SPREAD
I always liked sandwich spreads: ham salad, chicken salad, even the SPAM Salad sandwich my mother used to make. Who would have thought that I’d spend the greater part of my life developing animal-free recipes and that one of those recipes included many animal-free renditions of her SPAM SALAD. This is for you MUM!!
Makes 5-1/2 cups
1 c. whole, pitted Kalamata olives, drained
4 oz. pkg. Lightlife SMART DELI meatless VEGGIE PEPPERONI SLICES, thawed and cut in half
2 stalks celery, diced in sm. pieces
about 1/3 c. diced onion
1/3 c. drained, diced sweet red roasted pepper
12 oz. pkg. extra firm water packed tofu, drained, rinsed, twisted in cloth towel, hard, to remove as much liquid as possible
12.3 oz. pkg. extra firm silken tofu, rinsed then twisted in cloth towel, hard. to remove as much liquid as possible
1 T. Nutritional Yeast Seasoning by Bragg or use plain vegan yeast
2 t. salt
3 T. light brown sugar
2 t. fine grind fennel seed
1 t. cumin powder
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. turmeric
1/2 t. ground allspice
lots fresh grind black pepper
4 oz. vegan cream cheese, at room temperature – I used Tofutti brand
salt and pepper to taste
In food processor place olives, pepperoni, diced celery, diced onion and drained roasted peppers in that order.
Pulse, scrape down, pulse, scrape down…till the ingredients are evenly crumbled. NO MUSH. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add twisted tofu and stir till equally distributed.
Add remaining ingredients, except cream cheese, stirring to disperse evenly.
Now add softened cream cheese, stirring till you no longer see evidence of it.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Pack in covered containers and refrigerate till very cold, several hours or preferably overnight.
Notes: By cutting the pepperoni in half and dicing the onion and celery into small pieces before processing them together you achieve a more even cut when pulsing them in the processor. Otherwise they will all turn to mush.
You don’t need a processor to make this recipe. Hand-cut everything that needs cutting, just be sure to cut in tiny uniform pieces. It’s not that difficult. It just takes more time. I did it that way for years.
If you try to incorporate cold cream cheese into anything, it’s a struggle. Why struggle? Bring it to room temperature before adding it to the spread and stir with ease. So simple.
If you forget to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator in advance, place the cold cream cheese in separate bowl and mash and stir till creamy before adding it to the spread.
Now, flavors develop and become more prominent and the cream cheese firms up like it should only if you refrigerate the spread several hours before using it. Overnight is best. Make it the day before you plan to use it. Why not go for the best achievement?
Serve on sandwich of choice or use as a spread for crackers as an hors d’oeuvre. I find when using on sandwich, it’s more enjoyable to leave any other veggies off it. A little mustard or no mustard at all works. But hey, if you’re a restaurant and you want to uptick the appearance and the price, serve with tomato, lettuce, onion etc. It’ll get a little messy, but so what!
The first night we had this spread we ate it on soft pretzel rolls. Nice.