Herb Spread with Crudité
Simple recipes and quick dinners have been a staple in our home over the last few weeks while we have been dealing with our dog’s sudden paralysis and illness. Cooking has taken a backseat to hospital visits, phone calls with specialists and the care of Beamer.
I am working on setting up a blog to document our journey with what has been diagnosed as Coonhound Paralysis in our dog and the recovery process. This will be separate from Bunkycooks. I think it is very important for our family to get back to the normal routine as much as possible and one way to do that is to be right here writing about food and travel and reconnecting with my readers.
I am excited that my first food post in a few weeks is a partnership and giveaway with one of my favorite companies, Magimix by Robot-Coupe. Their food processor is the most used item in my kitchen and one of my favorite new appliances is their Vision Toaster. In fact, we gave one away a few months ago and will be giving another one away to one of my readers in this post!
The new Colored Vision Toaster is the same as their original stainless steel version, however, it is now offered in black, red and ivory to complement your kitchen. The Magimix Vision Toaster is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma, but you won’t need to worry about that if you win one here! We thought the ivory color would be appropriate to give away just in time to lighten things up for Springtime! 🙂
As I mentioned earlier, I have been relying on very easy to prepare dinners at home the past few weeks. They have been healthy, but nothing fancy, such as a roasted organic chicken, baked organic sweet potato and a green vegetable. When you have great ingredients, it does not take much preparation to make a delicious and satisfying meal.
This recipe for Herb Spread is also very basic, flavorful and low in fat. I have had this in my wooden recipe box (remember those?) for years. I replaced the full-fat cream cheese with organic Neufchâtel and used low-fat sour cream. I prefer the Neufchâtel from Whole Foods for this recipe (their 365 brand) since the consistency is closer to regular cream cheese. You can mix in any combination of fresh or dried herbs that you prefer to make it your own. We personally enjoy dill and just a pinch of thyme. The flavor is similar to Boursin, which is one of the first cheeses I served to guests when entertaining many years ago.
This is a great last minute spread to whip up in a hurry for guests and uses ingredients that most of us have on hand. It is best served with toasted French baguette slices and crudité. I quickly toasted the french bread slices in the Vision Toaster. I can watch them toast and this way I can be sure they do not get too brown. It is also much faster to toast them this way than in the oven.
Add the garlic, green onions and herbs to your taste preference and chill for just a few hours. You can make the spread a day ahead, however, the green onion and garlic becomes more pronounced as the flavors blend together, so you may want to add less of those ingredients and adjust the seasonings right before serving if you need to prepare it that far ahead of time.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and best of luck in winning this very nifty Vision Toaster!
Here is how you enter:
***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED***
Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite type of toast is!
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Regretfully, due to the weight and contents, this package can only be shipped to a winner in the U.S. I apologize to my readers that live outside of the Continental U.S.
This giveaway ends at 5 pm EST on Wednesday February 29, 2012. (It’s a Leap Year!)
I will notify the winner by email. Please get back to me with your shipping information within 48 hours or I will choose another winner.
Herb Spread with Crudité
Start with the basic mixture of Neufchâtel, sour cream, green onion and garlic and then add your favorite herbs and seasonings. I use dried herbs in the recipe since I always have them on hand. This is best served the same day. If you are going to have to make it a day ahead, be sure to use less green onion and garlic as those flavors become more prominent the longer the spread refrigerates.
8 ounces Neufchâtel, softened
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
3 green onions, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 teaspoons fresh, chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of fresh, finely grated lemon peel
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh sliced carrots, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes (crudité)
Toasted French baguette slices
Combine the first eight ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor (or in a small food processor) and process until they are thoroughly mixed together. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly to your preference. You may want to add additional herbs or grated lemon peel. Place mixture in a small bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pushed against the surface. Refrigerate for several hours.
Use a spatula to put the mixture in a serving dish. Garnish with crudité and toasted French baguette slices.