A traditional Welsh Rarebit is a kind of cheese on toast, in the sense that a Welsh rarebit takes the concept of cheese on toast and elevates it to a sublime snack worthy of any gods you care to call upon. A traditional Welsh rarebit usually involves using a white sauce enriched with stout and egg yolks, thickened with cheese; this vile-textured gloop is spread thick onto slices of toast and grilled until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Whenever I desired a Welsh rarebit I would go out with my cheese-net and hounds, and hunt down the most aggressive, ill-tempered, agèd cheddar in the forest; and naturally I used only the finest mustard imported directly from Dijon.
Sadly these days my diet is heavily restricted: I can no longer eat any dairy at all. No more for me the howls of an angry brie captured at dawn amongst the sand dunes, nor yet the thrill of chasing an ashed chèvre where the pine-clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high.
In my dairy-free dolour I had quite given up on all my favourite foods. Soy-based cheese substitutes are acceptable on pizza, or in a hamburger, or any other setting where cheap plastic-wrapped squares of mediocrity are commonly found. Recently, however, I discovered cashew cheese. This absolutely cheese-free concoction is surprisingly tasty, easy to make at home, and can be combined with the better soy-based substitutes to create a snack that has been declared delicious not only by my poor milquetoast-conditioned tastebuds but by people who can and do still eat real cheese.
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, non-drinkers, and if you use gluten free bread, the gluten free brigade (low FODMAP people may have limited tolerance of cashews; proper procedures should be followed for Coeliacs).
- 2 slices of bread (white, brown, low FODMAP, gluten free, whatever floats your boat)
- 30mL (one heaped dessert spoon) dairy-free butter substitute (e.g. Nuttelex)
- 60mL (two heaped dessert spoons) Cashew Cheese made with smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup of your preferred soy cheese, shredded or chopped into small pieces (if you're in Australia, Dairy Free Down Under is a good choice)
- 5mL lemon juice
- 5mL the best mustard you can buy
- Preheat your grill, with the grill tray on the highest level and the temperature high
- Combine the dairy-free spread, cashew cheese, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl and smush with the back of a spoon to mix thoroughly
- Add the soy cheese and stir it through
- Divide the cheese mixture between the slices of bread and spread evenly to the edges of the slice
- Place bread under the grill and watch carefully
- Remove the bread once the cheese mixture begins to acquire a light golden brown colour
- Serve and eat immediately