Eggplant "Cheddar Cheese" Spread

OMG I am super excited about this post and I think, you will be too, once you make a batch.  This easy spread made of roasted veggies, tahini, canola oil and lemon really satisfies a vegan cheese craving.  Trust me.  You will be so surprised.  The taste and texture mimic some of those old cheese spreads I remember so fondly from childhood that were never left off the holiday table.  So this holiday season, surprise all your guests with this vegan version.  I promise you won't miss the dairy in this one!

Eggplant "Cheddar Cheese" Spread
1 small Eggplant (traditional)
2 small Zucchinis
6 cloves Garlic
1/2 sweet yellow Onion
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/2 cup Tahini
1/4 cup Canola Oil (plus 2 Tablespoons for roasting veggies)
Juice of 2 Lemons
Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)

Begin by rough chopping and roasting all veggies, onions and garlic tossed in a bit of canola oil and coated with salt and pepper.  Roast on a large baking tray at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don't worry if some of the veggies get a little charred, that will just add some smoky flavor to your "cheese" - DELISH!  Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray.  Add to food processor along with 1/2 cup tahini, juice of 2 lemons, blend until smooth and drizzle in oil to finish to achieve a light, creamy consistency.  Taste teste with spoon and add additional salt and pepper if needed.  Transfer to a glass vessel and refrigerate until ready to serve.  DO NOT PACK IT DOWN.  The "light as a cloud" fluffy consistency (i.e. cheese spread) is what you are going for.  This would be great on any crackers of choice or as a replacement for cream cheese on things like bagels and toast.  This would also make an excellent sauce for your pasta of choice.  Garnish with parsley and basil if desired.  Chef's note:  For a special holiday event, roll the spread into a log shape and coat with chopped toasted pecans.  Voila - CHEESE LOG with no cows.  ENJOY and HAPPY HOLIDAYS LOVES!

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