In this recipe, I use the fresh herbs for a sprightly spread. This cheese is simple to make, less expensive than store-bought herb cheeses, and better-tasting. The touch of vinegar makes it less cloying by adding acidity. Herb lovers will find this a versatile spread—it is good on sandwiches and crackers, great on baked potatoes, and when thinned with a little milk it can be used as a tasty dip. My favorite use is on a sandwich of whole wheat sourdough baguette, liberally spread with this cream cheese, slices of summer-ripe tomatoes with salt and pepper, and a handful of arugula and/or baby lettuce—yum! HERB CREAM CHEESE RECIPE MAKES ABOUT 2 1/2 CUPS
• 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
• 2 to 3 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
• 10 parsley sprigs, minced
• 4 or 5 marjoram sprigs, minced
• 4 or 5 fennel or dill sprigs, minced
• 4 or 5 savory sprigs, minced
• About 2 teaspoons fresh lavender flowers
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• About 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon herb or white wine vinegar, optional
1. Cream the cheese, adding half-and-half or milk if the cheese is dry. Add herbs, garlic, salt, cayenne and vinegar, if desired. Blend well, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Adjust the seasoning with more garlic or herbs, salt or cayenne pepper. The Herb Cream Cheese Recipe improves in flavor after a day and may be kept for 4 to 5 days tightly covered and refrigerated.
Susan Belsinger, a longtime contributor to The Herb Companion, co-wrote The Creative Herbal Home (Creative Printing, 2007).
Click here to read the main article, Create Your Own Herbal Blends.