A Delicious Herbal Cheese Spread

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Years ago I can remember when Boursin® cheese first appeared, and how it became immediately popular. Boursin® is a soft, spreadable herbal cheese from France, and it is so delicious. It is sold in a little crinkled foil cup, and can be used on anything, from a slice of baguette to steamed vegetables. It’s original motto was “Du pain, du vin, du Boursin,”–“Some bread, some wine, some Boursin,” meaning, that’s all you need for happiness, and I get their drift. I recently came across a recipe for “Herb Cheese Spread” in a community cookbook (Purple Sage and other Pleasures from the Junior League of Tucson, Arizona), and gave it a whirl. Much to my surprise, it’s wonderful, and almost indistinguishable from the original Boursin®. A little 5-ounce cup of Boursin® costs more than $7.00 at the store, but you can make a large quantity (about two cups) for almost the same cost. (You may not think you want/need a large quantity, but wait till you taste it! And it can be frozen like a flavored butter for future use.)

Here is the recipe:

Herb Cheese Spread

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Preparing radishes for the cheese platter.

(Note: all the herbs in this recipe are dried)

2 cloves garlic
8 ounces whipped butter, softened
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon pepper

Press the garlic cloves through a garlic press into a large bowl, and add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Place in a crock and chill to let flavors blend.

Notes: Be sure to use whipped butter, and not soft butter blended with oil. Also, the herbal flavor depends on the particular blend of herbs here, and, I know, it’s quite a list. I think you could probably leave out the marjoram, but I wouldn’t tinker with the formula beyond that.

What can you do with our faux Boursin®? Slather on a slice of baguette, melt a pat on a baked or boiled potato, beat into some freshly cooked rice or noodles, stuff a chicken breast with it, slather on a whole chicken under the skin and then roast, serve at a get-together with crackers instead of a dip . . .

I packed some of the mixture into a little ceramic heart mold lined with cheese cloth, and unfolded it on the plate shown above. You could use any small bowl, can or other mold in a similar way, but it must be lined with cheese cloth or it won’t unmold.

Herb cheese mixture packed into a ceramic mold.
Herb cheese mixture packed into a ceramic mold.

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Here’s how to cut the radishes, as shown on the plate above. Start with a nice, plump radish.  The leaves are pretty mangy, but, hey, it’s February!

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Slice off the root and leaves.

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Slice around the equator of the radish with a small, sharp knife. Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle for the first cut, then reverse the angle for the second cut, piercing the radish to the center, to form a zig-zag cut.

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Pull the two halves apart–voila!

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These are so much fun you will have to restrain yourself from making too many. I sprinkled some little broccoli flowers over the radishes above just for pretty.

I mentioned that you can freeze this herb spread for convenience–just form into a roll on a piece of plastic wrap, and then wrap tightly in foil. Place in the freezer and slice some off as needed.

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Not many flowers this time of year, but my geranium is blooming.

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Went out bird hunting yesterday, and only found a half-asleep mourning dove! Peace to you. Fran

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5 thoughts on “A Delicious Herbal Cheese Spread

  1. You never fail to amaze me with all those skills you have. Can I come live with you and share your delicious treats??? Heh. Hope you have a wonderful wonderful weekend 🙂

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