I love Boursin™ cheese, and I make a pretty decent facsimile, Almost Boursin Cheese Spread (Almost!) in a previous post. So anyway, I was sitting, sipping and musing. Goddesses do that sometimes. You should try it. The things one thinks up…and this was one of those things. I have some asparagus, because there aren’t many vegetables I like more than asparagus. When I was a kid, we had a huge asparagus bed, which I would be summoned from my play, given a sharp knife and asked to cut and pick some asparagus for dinner. Dinner was our mid-day meal on the farm. It was the first real spring vegetable and we would watch and wait for it to peek through the straw that was mounded over the hills. Lovely memory. My mother would simmer the cut up spears in a small amount of heavy cream until they were tender. She would serve it with a sprinkle of salt and lots of black pepper and that was it! For company, she made a hollandaise sauce, but I must admit, I loved the cream. That was then, but now I like to roast the spears, leaving them with quite a bit of “tooth” to them. Usually with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of salt, but still heaps of black pepper. But, I also like to dip the spears. Really, I like to dip almost anything, and I was thinking about asparagus, hollandaise and Boursin™ cheese. I have no idea why those particular things, but there was some wine involved, so….
This spread sort of combines the flavors of both the hollandaise, or rather the lemon, and the Boursin®. This is a spread. So you can schmear it on pita, crackers, naan and I like this on pumpernickel bagels, too. But, you can make it into a dip, by simply adding additional milk or yogurt. I suppose you could use mayonnaise, but I think it might be too over-the-top-rich…but you should do whatever you think is best. So, I will add some milk to a bit of the spread and dip my roasted asparagus spears into that little bit of bliss.
Get a bowl, dump in the cream cheese and dump everything else on top. Stir and stir until it’s smooth and the “good stuff” is evenly distributed. That green hue there, is from the reflection of the green shirt I was wearing. Oh, well…as I mentioned, add milk, one tablespoon at a time, if you’re making this into a dip. Scrape into a bowl, cover and chill.
Creamy Herb, Garlic and Lemon Spread
Add additional milk if you wish to make this into a dip.
- 12 ounces cream cheese (you can use Neufchâtel cheese)
- 3 tablespoons very finely minced red onion
- Grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 good teaspoons)
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated (this is garlicky)
- 1 tablespoon very finely snipped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons very finely minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (grind it fresh, please!)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed between your fingers
- 1/4 teaspoon very finely minced fresh thyme leaves
Put all the ingredients in a bowl; carefully stir together until everything is evenly distributed and the smooth. Scrape into a container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve at cool room temperature.
NOTE: To make this into a dip, add extra milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. If you wish to have some heat, add some red pepper flakes. If using as a spread, it’s excellent on a burger, a bagel and a baguette!
Creamy Herb, Garlic and Lemon Spread Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.