While visiting a local gourmet grocery store in our area, I spotted several tables in the cheese department laden with samples to try. I enjoy cheese but am always leery of spending $6-$8 on a new cheese I might not enjoy so I was delighted at the prospect of a little taste testing.
One of the specialty cheeses was coated with a mixture of coffee and lavender. Knowing that lavender could be surprisingly good in foods, I just had to try that. Alas, the coffee overpowered the delicate flavor of lavender. I passed that by.
All this to say, I’ve been thinking about cheese lately – shredded Parmesan on salads, gooey Monterey Jack on pizza, creamy Grueyere in Quiche Lorraine. Cheese is tasty in its own right but can be elevated to new heights with a skillful addition of herbs. Here’s how to transform ordinary cream cheese into a snacking treat.
Fresh Herbs and Cream Cheese DipCourse: Snacks
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 fresh oregano leaves
6 fresh marjoram leaves
2-3 fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp ground pepper
- Remove cream cheese from refrigerator and allow to soften, about a half hour.
- In the meantime, gather fresh oregano, marjoram, and basil.
- Rinse the leaves and pat dry.
- With a sharp knife, finely dice the leaves.
- You can substitute 1 tsp. of each dried herbs if fresh are not available.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with wooden spoon until blended and smooth.
- Turn into a serving bowl and cover.
- Refrigerate at least two hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve with a plate of crackers or thin sliced baguettes.