Cashew Mushroom Tapenade

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Cashew Mushroom Tapenade by Zel Allen
(yields about 2 cups)

For those who shun lengthy kitchen preps, this recipe is ideal. Just marinate, process and serve this spread in many different ways. Present the tapenade as an appetizer wrapped in lettuce or Napa cabbage leaves. Prepare it as a canape by spreading on whole grain crackers, topped with sliced green olives. Serve the tapenade over steamed brown rice. Enjoy as a sandwich filling with sliced tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Serve as a spread with toasted pita bread or crackers. Use as a filling for stuffed tomatoes (heat slightly under the broiler). Spoon over baked potatoes.

1 lb portobello mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 4 giant mushrooms)

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 to 1/3 cup water

1/2 lb coarsely chopped cashews

Directions:

1. Put the mushrooms into a large, deep bowl. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and enough water to create a marinade. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. While the mushrooms marinate, grind cashews into a fine meal in the food processor. Leave in food processor for now.

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from marinade and add to cashews in the food processor. Pulse-chop until the mushrooms are well minced and mixture is creamy.

Note: Button or crimini mushrooms can be substituted if portobello mushrooms are unavailable. However, the portobello mushrooms lend a more pungent flavor and deeper color.

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