This was a very simple test recipe for a cream cheese spread using some of my fresh herbs from the balcony garden. We spread the spread (!) on some warm biscuits, and I also added it to some sandwiches the next day. It was easy, tasty and fun to make. For me, the real fun part is just knowing that I grew the herbs and that they are fresh from the balcony!
I used a package of cream cheese and a dollap or two of some sour cream as the base. Then, I added some fresh thyme and fresh chives. Lastly, I added some sun-dried tomatoes and blended it all together in the food processor. Chill. Pretty simple… I think I also added a few leaves of fresh oregano in there too, just for kicks. All in all, it’s a fun way to play with my herbs.
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I found an ingredient list for a bean spread that looked, well, interesting. Something to try and play around with… And that’s pretty much how it turned out. I was curious to use the white beans as a base. My only other experience with pureed beans would be hummus, and that has a very distinct chickpea flavor (which I adore, mind you). So for the cannellini beans, I was curious.
It came out okay. I’ve used the spread on a sandwich and as a topping for crackers (see above). I can’t say it’s something that I would crave, but then again, I like knowing it’s a good-for-you type of spread. As opposed to, say, a cheese spread or dip (which I also adore, mind you). I liked using fresh herbs from the balcony, and I will definitely be playing with them quite a bit this season. The red onions in this spread were too strong right away… But after it had some time to meld in the fridge, it did, well, mellow out. So, here’s the ingredient list, take it or leave it. I’m of mixed reviews on it right now…
- Cannellini Beans, one can, thoroughly rinsed and drained
- Drizzling of Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Red Onion, half of a medium-sized – not sure I’d even add this next time, particularly if I’m adding chives
- Fresh Chives – I think I used 6 stalks, and I’d use more next time, while omitting the red onions
- Fresh Thyme – handful of sprigs
I’d probably add a dash or two of lemon juice next time also. Basically, I put everything in the food processor and whirled away. Definitely put in fridge to let flavors mix…
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Here is my newly planted herb container of oregano, chives, and thyme. This is my first time growing oregano, so I’m curious about that. Also, I don’t generally use it a lot, so we’ll see where and how it ends up. It’s about time for my annual online fresh herb recipe search, so I’m sure I’ll get some ideas then. I love having the thyme and chives. I’ll definitely be using them in dips and spreads and such. I was reading this morning about putting fresh herbs in marinades with meats… I will have to try that too! I’ve also got a lavender out there, though that is more for prettiness, in sight and in scent…
And here is my beloved basil container. This pic shows them at one week old (with me), and I’ve already been plucking away at the leaves. I put a chopped tomato and basil mix on top of some pasta last week. Then D. used the rest of it tonight as a topping to a sandwich he made for us. These guys may look a little tall but scrawny now, but they are going to poof out and look more like a mini basil Christmas tree in about a month’s time. At least, if past year’s basil is any indication…
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