Made with a cream cheese, butter, garlic, and a collection of dried herbs, the spread (call it a dip if you want, we won’t mind) takes just a few minutes in the food processor to come together, and then chills in the fridge until it’s time to serve.
Dried herbs are great, but they start lose their flavor after a year or so. I write the month and year on the bottom of my dried herb jars so I’ll know exactly when it’s time to replace them.
If you like, you can also use fresh herbs in place of the dried called for in the recipe. Just remember, when using fresh herbs you’ll want to triple the amount to get the same amount of flavor. Snipped fresh herbs also make a nice garnish once the spread is ready to serve.
We used a food processor to combine all of the ingredients because it takes just a few seconds to get a smooth and uniform spread, but you can certainly use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula (plus a little elbow grease) and get the same results.
If making by hand, definitely let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature before mixing. Cutting them up into pieces will also help speed along the warming (and mixing) process.
This recipe makes a lot — about 3 cups. I had enough to fill several of these little glass bowls, which were handy to keep in the fridge and open up whenever the time came. Parties, Patriots games, movie nights… this stuff is a real crowd pleaser. I suspect it would also make a great sandwich spread or could even be mixed into a batch of mashed potatoes or most anything else that could benefit from a little extra flavor and creaminess.
For parties, serve with sturdy crackers or veggies for a flavorful, spreadable appetizer. This spread is especially nice during the holiday season, when guests drop by unexpectedly or you have a lot of parties to go to. You could even purchase a bunch of small mason jars and fill them with herbed cheese for a quick and easy gift. Just add a box of fancy crackers and call it a day!
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.