I meant to share this garlic and herb cheese spread with you yesterday. Somehow, however, the day got away from me. But it’s here today! And boy, let me tell you, this recipe is a keeper! I can use this little beauty of a spread in so many ways, I don’t think I can think of them all. I’ve used it in today’s post as a base for canapés and hors d’oeuvres. You can actually use it as a dip. But I originally developed it for a completely different purpose.
I have, in my mind, a recipe I’ve been trying to pull together, but so far have not gotten just right enough to share. And a garlic and herb cheese spread features centrally in that recipe. I made a couple of practice runs for this recipe I have in mind. But I used a popular store-bought herb cheese spread. I was not in love with the results. The taste was not bad, but the texture and flavor were off. I needed creamier and I needed a less sharp, more rounded, velvety taste profile. So, I went recipe hunting.
I looked in lots of places for a good garlic and herb cheese spread, and as is usually the case, I ended up grabbing what I liked from this and that recipe, ultimately creating something that met my needs.
And THAT’S how we come by today’s recipe.
So let’s make this garlic and herb cheese spread
Today’s recipe is going to fly by, because it is just THAT easy. But! The final product is so deliciously full of flavor layers that one would think it was a very complicated recipe.
Why cream cheese AND mascarpone? Cream cheese has a nice firm texture with a taste that finishes with a hint of sharpness. Mascarpone is less firm with a taste that definitely speaks to sweet heavy cream. They are the yin and yang that balance this cheese spread, and part of what I benefited from when combining different recipes.
First, pulse together the salt and the garlic in your food processor until it is mixed.
Then add the mascarpone, the cream cheese, the butter, and the olive oil.
Process for about 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
Then add the chopped herbs and process until combined. Another 1-2 minutes.
Scoop it out into a bowl and chill for at least an hour.
Once chilled, it is ready for whatever you can dream up.
My first experiment was to create a delicious low-carb canapé. Cucumber slices, with a generous dollop of garlic and herb cheese spread, topped with diced dry salami, and garnished with fresh chives.
Serve these at a party, and I guarantee they will disappear in no time!
And then, to experiment further with the versatility of this amazing cheese spread, I topped some multi-grain crackers with a generous amount, then piled some spiced deli roast beef, applied a few grinds of black pepper, and garnished with fresh parsley.
The nuttiness of the multi-grain, the velvety magic that is the cheese spread, the meatiness of the roast beef with fresh cracked pepper…yeah, you can see this was a winning combination.
But I still have that recipe in my mind’s eye, and I hope to bring it to you soon. So, stay in touch. In the meantime, however, enjoy this amazing garlic and herb cheese spread!
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large garlic clove
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh chives, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Fresh cracked pepper
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the salt, then press the garlic on top of the salt. Pulse until just combined.
- Add the cream cheese, mascarpone, butter, and olive oil. Process for 1-2 minutes until combined and creamy.
- Add a couple of grinds of black pepper, and then the herbs and process for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a glass bowl and chill for at least one hour before use.