Friday, February 7, 2014

Garden Cream Cheese

Garden Herb Cream Cheese

This recipe is so simple that I’ve seen three-year-old twins make it from start to finish.
Blend vegetables and cream cheese. When you are done you can put it on anything and eat it for all three meals.
It’s great on bagels in the morning. It makes a better base for a lunch-time sandwich than mayonnaise. It is light enough to use as a dip for carrots, crackers or chips for an appetizer or on bread as a side dish to a soup or salad.
I use whatever vegetables and herbs are in season. When the basil is growing like a weed in the summer I use lots of basil and in the winter I tend to use more garlic chives. I always use greens of some sort - especially arugula and a little spicy mustard – but beyond that I have used anything you can eat raw including green peppers, radishes, beans, peas and carrots.
It is a bit tough to estimate how many vegetables you need but I like to shoot for an even amount of blended vegetables and cheese.
Try something like 5 leaves of kale, 10-15 small arugula leaves, two smallish mustard leaves, half green pepper or a couple radishes, five chive sprigs and some rosemary.
Or just put in buckets of basil and some leaks. 
Experiment - you'll find what you like- but also don't be afraid to mix up a batch of whatever is in season.
I usually just pick a bunch of stuff and whatever I don’t use will used for something else in the next few days.
For cheese, I like Neufchatel because it is a little bit lighter but anything works. I usually make a double batch because it goes fast and I would rather clean the blender once than twice.

What you need
Basil is always a great start to garden cream cheese

Fresh Vegetables
1-2 packages Neufchatel or cream cheese

What you do
~Clean your vegetables and put them in a food processor
           I use a hand blender that has a small plastic bowl attachment. Before that I used to use a cheap food chopper from Wal-Mart. You probably could finely chop everything my hand and then stir it in manually as well but that sounds like a lot of work.
~ Blend them up into a fine paste
                You can also leave them in small pieces but I think really blending them up gives you a more even flavor and consistency
~ Add cream cheese
~ Blend until it has an even light green color and consistency
~ Put into a covered container and refrigerate

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