Many people know cashews only as a salty snack. Actually, the unsalted and unroasted cashew nuts are very versatile and can be applied in multiple ways in the kitchen. For example cooked cashews are a great garnish and pair especially well with sunchokes. You can blend the cooked cashews into a fine puree as well, which can be served either pure or flavored with vegetable juices. Compared to other nuts, raw cashews have a slightly softer texture. Roasting them not only crisps them, but also enhances their flavor. Many recipes advise to roast nuts in skillets or dry pans. I always roast nuts in the oven, because this way they don’t get burnt spots, but roast through completely. Roasted cashews can be used as a puree, in desserts or in appetizers, like the starter below.
Similarly to my previous recipe where I combined purple winter and orange spring carrots, I paired winter and spring ingredients in this appetizer too. I cut long strips from tart winter apples, rolled them to circles and filled them with a fine puree made of winter rutabaga. I usually add some vinegar to rutabaga, but this time I skipped it, because the apple was sour enough to balance the sweetness of the rutabaga. I sprinkled the puree with roasted cashew crumbs and topped it with spring radish. Both the radish wedges and the radish leaves served as freshening ingredients.