If making macadamia nut cheese, add macadamia nuts to a food processor or a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, and the lesser amount of water (1/4 cup or 60 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Mix/blend, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but in a pinch, a blender can work too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine. If adding herbs, add at this time.
At this point, the "cheese" is ready to eat! But it's better after chilling. Transfer "cheese" to cheesecloth (or a thin, clean towel) and rest over a fine mesh strainer set over a mixing bowl. Twist the top of the cheesecloth so it forms a loose ball. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, up to 24-36 hours. The longer it chills, the firmer the "cheese" will become.
In the meantime, prepare tahini dressing by adding tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Then add water a little at a time until a thick but pourable sauce is achieved (~1/4 cup or 60 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon for acidity or maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
Once cheese is slightly chilled (at least 15-20 minutes), plate salad by adding mustard greens, almonds, and cherries to a serving platter or dividing between serving bowls. Top with half of the macadamia nut cheese (1/2 cup as original recipe is written) spread into dollops (you will have half leftover). Serve with dressing on side.
Leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Leftover nut cheese will keep for 7 days, sometimes longer. Leftover (undressed) salad will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for calculated with all of the dressing and 1/2 of the nut cheese.