Photos and styling by Angelina Marie, Short Eared Dog Photography

The ongoing Savor the Goods event series at Panhandle PBS has given a platform to some of the area’s best chefs and food producers, creating dinner events in which these men and women create stunning, multi-course meals for guests. When 2020 forced the series to pause, Panhandle PBS modified these events into “Savor the Goods at Home,” a video series featuring our own columnist Ruthie Landelius of Black Fig Food. (Watch her short, instructional videos at

Unfortunately, this month’s planned return of the dinner series had to be canceled due to increasing local COVID numbers. But when it does resume—at a yet-to-be-determined date—it will feature Landelius for a gorgeous and delicious plant-based meal. Ruthie was kind enough to preview her dishes for us. Recognizing these may be a little too complex for most home chefs, she provided detailed recipes for a few of the individual components of these dishes.

“It’s a mainly raw, plant-forward menu,” she says of the dinner she designed. “I want to show that there’s a lot more to salad than lettuce. You can prepare vegetables in a much more interesting way.” 

When Savor the Goods does resume, Landelius will present a roasted roots-and-shoots salad with tempeh bacon, a vegan cheese course, raw lasagna as the main course, and blackberry cheesecake for dessert. Every part of these dishes is plant-based, including cheeses made from cashews.

But Landelius is interested in more than just the components of her dishes. “Cooking, for me, is a form of meditation,” she says. “You can use it as a type of self-care. Presentation can be a therapeutic exercise.” For these kinds of upscale events, she pays close attention not only to the flavors of each dish, but also its overall appearance along with the creative construction of every plate—as these photos make clear. 

“I like the ‘wow’ factor,” says Landelius. “It’s all about the colors and textures. This is my art. Food is my medium.”

Watch for announcements about the next event. Learn more about Ruthie Landelius at and 

Tarragon Dressing

Cream Cheese Base
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight 
1 teaspoon probiotic powder
¼ to ½ cup water

Place cashews in a bowl. Empty contents of probiotic capsules over cashews; stir together to coat. To culture cashews, blend soaked cashews, probiotic powder, and water until you reach a smooth consistency. Transfer cheese base to a wide, shallow container and cover plastic film directly touching the cheese base. Dehydrate on 105 degrees for 20 to 24 hours, tasting often toward the end of fermentation for a slightly tangy flavor. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to prepare dressing.

1 batch cream cheese base
⅓ cup water 
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 bunch fresh tarragon, stems removed 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste

Combine cheese base, water and lemon juice in high-speed blender. Blend for about 2 minutes until smooth.The mixture should be the consistency of sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, scrape cashew cream into a mixing bowl and add nutritional yeast, tarragon, salt and pepper. Stir ingredients to combine. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Makes 2 ½ cups

Seed Crackers

¾ cup almond flour
½ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup hemp seeds
1 ½ tablespoons ground flax seeds
3 tablespoons black-and-white sesame seeds, mixed
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric powder 
1 ½ tablespoons grapeseed oil
⅓ cup water

Combine all dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Add oil and water; mix using  rubber spatula until dough forms. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic; chill for 1 hour. Roll chilled dough between parchment paper to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut rolled dough into 1 ¼ by 1 ¼ -inch squares or diamond shapes. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees until crisp for about 10 to 15 minutes. Store crackers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 30 to 40 crackers

Adapted from and inspired by Matthew Kenney. 

Raw Lasagna

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight
1 ¼ cups fresh tomato, roughly chopped 
½  cup fresh basil
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped 
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

After soaking sun-dried tomatoes, squeeze out any excess water into a bowl and reserve. In a blender, add all ingredients except olive oil. Blend until smooth; use a tamper to create a vortex to keep blade from grinding the product. If you find your product too stiff to handle, add reserved tomato water a little at a time to loosen. You want a thick consistency, not a watery one. Next, drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Once smooth, reserve in refrigerator. If your marinara is too watery, let it sit overnight in a nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer or bowl, and allow any extra moisture to drain. Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes 1 ½ cups

Pistachio Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
2 cups fresh arugula 
2 cups fresh spinach
1 ½ cups pistachios
½ lemon, zested 
1 lemon, juiced 
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup olive oil

Add the basil, arugula, spinach, pistachio, lemon and zest, and salt to a food processor and pulse until broken down. Next, with the food processor on, drizzle in olive oil through the chute until fully incorporated. Transfer pesto to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Macadamia Ricotta
2 cups macadamia nuts, previously soaked 
⅓ cup water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast 
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a food processor, blend the macadamia, water, and salt until smooth. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and olive oil. Pulse to combine. Transfer ricotta to a container and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Herb Oil
1 cup fresh parsley 
1 cup fresh basil
½ cup fresh spinach 
1 ½ cups olive oil

Blend herbs in a high-speed blender with olive oil until smooth for about 5 minutes. Then, pass through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth and reserve the oil.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

4 zucchini, medium size (approximately 6 inches) 
1 heirloom tomato, medium size
Kosher salt 

To assemble, trim the top and bottom from the zucchini. Working longways, shave nine pieces from the zucchini about 2 mm thick on a mandoline, being careful not to cut your fingers. Then, trim the zucchini so they are all the same size.

Shingle the zucchini and divide it into groups of three. These will serve as your lasagna “noodles.”

Cut two thick slices from the part of your tomato that most closely resembles the size of your shingled zucchini layers.

Place the base layer of zucchini shingles directly onto a plate. Spoon a large dollop of ricotta onto the zucchini. Place two half-moon slices of tomato on top. Spoon a large dollop of marinara on top of the tomato, then follow with a dollop of pesto.

Place the next set of zucchini shingles over the first layer facing the opposite direction and repeat the directions to stack one more layer.

Place the last set of zucchini shingles over the sauces. Garnish the zucchini with a bit of each sauce, salt pepper, and a sprig of basil. Drizzle the herb oil directly onto the plate around the lasagna and serve.

Makes 8 servings

Blackberry Cheesecake

1 cup golden Oreos (cookie only), processed 
1 cup pecans, processed
⅓ cup plant-based butter 
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ teaspoon spirulina powder

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine processed Oreos, pecans, melted butter, sugar and spirulina powder in medium mixing bowl. Transfer crust mixture to 9-inch springform pan.Using your knuckles, press mixture into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crispy and golden. Remove springform pan from oven; let cool.

1 ⅓ cup blackberries 
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 ¼ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
¼ cup agave nectar
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted

Puree cashews, blackberries, lemon juice and agave in blender on high until smooth. Stream in coconut oil to emulsify. Pour over prepared crust and freeze for at least 6 hours, until set. Remove cheesecake from freezer; remove from springform pan. Place cheesecake in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with frozen blackberries and spirulina powder.

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Ruthie owns Black Fig Food catering and is proprietor of the online cooking platform Elevated Plant Plate. She has a degree in fine art but has been cooking professionally for more than two decades as a caterer, personal and private chef, college cooking instructor and certified plant-based chef. Learn more about Ruthie at and