Freshly shaved what? Freshly shaved walnuts, everybody. How have we never thought of this vegan parmesan hack before?

Leave it to the genius behind one of L.A.’s sexiest vegan restaurants, Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads Kitchen, to come up with this inventive solution for vegan garnishing perfection! We’re sharing this clever idea straight from the pages of Chef Tal’s brand new cookbook, Crossroads. It’s full of high-end vegan recipes perfect for the master home chef who didn’t think plant-based cooking could get this fancy.

Today is National Cheese Day, and while we’re not the kind of girls to celebrate every obscure national holiday, when it comes to something as magical and delicious as cheese, we thought that – in some strange way – this vegan parmesan truly fit the bill!

Looking for more plant-based cheese alternatives? Check out our visit with Chef Tal and this vegan cheese plate as well!

About nutritional yeast flakes: Nutritional yeast may not sound like the most appetizing ingredient, but it has a cheesy, nutty, savory quality that gives any dish extra oomph. Just a tablespoon or two adds a creamy, salty richness to dips, soups, and sauces. Look for nutritional yeast flakes in the supplement section of the market or health food store. Be sure to select flakes instead of granules, which will deliver a bit of texture to whatever you add them to.

Crossroad’s Walnut Parmesan
Makes about 1 cup


1/2 cup raw walnut halves, frozen
nonstick cooking spray
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Using a truffle shaver, thinly shave the walnuts and put in a bowl. (Alternatively, use a microplane to coarsely grate the nuts.) You should have about 1 cup.

Coat with cooking spray and toss with the nutritional yeast flakes, salt and pepper. The ‘Parmesan’ keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.

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