Parmesan Cheese Spread

Parmesan Cheese Spread Recipe

Woah - what a week. I'm sitting in the lobby of a hotel in New York, and quite a lot has unfolded since I last checked in. The short version is: I flew to New York for the James Beard Awards, and then (holy s**t) I won one. I'm making my way back home now, and my fingers are crossed that some of my photos from the past few days turn out. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this. It's a Parmesan spread I make now and then, one I like for a number of reasons. You grate good Parmesan whisper-thin into a pot. Then combine that with a splash of white wine and a big glug of olive oil. That's really it. It's one of those stupid-simple, homemade, tastes-really-good things you can make in no time. If it gets lost in your refrigerator for a week, no worries, it's that much better when you rediscover it. Once you've made this base, it can hang out in your fridge for a week, or two, - or even three. Ready to use whenever (and, on whatever) you like.

Parmesan Spread RecipeParmesan Spread RecipeParmesan Spread Recipe

It's also completely customizable on a whim. You can stir in any number or herbs, spices, dried or fresh fruits (before serving) to take the spread in whatever direction you like. I noted some suggestions in the recipe below. It's good on crostini, sandwiches, and tartines. It's good spread in the bottom of a tart crust. It's good drizzled with a bit of honey or as part of a cheese / antipasti platter.

Thanks again to everyone for the nice notes. Every one of them feels good to read. xo -h

Parmesan Cheese Spread

You're going to want to use a Microplane grater here - the finer and whispier the cheese is grated, the better. this is also a perfect fit for Pecorino cheese, and I've been working on an aged gouda version using a bit of IPA (India Pale Ale) in place of the wine you see here. You can take this general idea in many different directions.

2 1/2 cups / 5 1/2 oz / 150g finely grated Parmesan cheese
scant 1/4 cup / 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine

add in ideas: chopped dried figs, chopped dates, finely lots of chopped chives, lemon zest, or red pepper flakes, dried herbs, chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Combine the cheese, olive oil, and wine in a jar or bowl. Stir gently until it all comes together, then press the cheese down a bit into a flat surface. It will keep like this, drizzled with a layer of olive oil, for a few weeks refrigerated.

When I want to serve the cheese, I typically scoop out a bit into a separate smaller bowl or plate, and incorporate any add-ins (or drizzles) at this point.

Makes ~1 1/2 cups of spread.

Prep time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Yay! Yay! Yay! Your website and cookbooks helped me begin my jaunt as a veggie cook; I'm forever indebted, and give you my own little award every time I bite into one of your scrumptious meals. Brava, Heidi!!

    Linsey
  • Hi Heidi, You met my friend Ginny Evans a while ago and she gave me a signed copy of your first book. I have loved your work since then! I am good friends with Lisa Gosselin, the editor of Eating Well magazine (a publication out of Vermont). She would love to be in touch with you. How can she reach you? Should I send you her email? Thanks and congratulations about James Beard! Lindsay

    HS: Thanks for the nice note Lindsay :) - I'll ping you offline.

    Lindsay
  • Congratulations on your award! You definitely deserve it, you talented lady, you! Your cheese spread looks simple and tasty. Would spread it on a cracker or sandwich any day!

    Julia {The Roasted Root}
  • Congrats on the award, Heidi!

    Athena
  • Congratulations, Heidi! You deserve every ounce of recognition that you received at the James Beard Awards and elsewhere. You're an inspiration! Please keep on doing what you do. Oh and this spread? I'm trying it as soon as possible!

    Cookie and Kate
  • Wow, Congratulations on the award Heidi. Well deserved

    Lynn
  • Heidi, congratulations!! Your recipes and beautiful, beautiful photographs have been such an inspiration. I love reading your blog and will continue to do so for as long as I love cooking/eating (i.e. a very long time). Congratulations and enjoy basking in the well-deserved glory! :)

    yijang
  • Congrats on the award! Plentiful champagne for you. :) (...I guess it's especially appropriate that there's wine in this spread!)

    Eileen
  • Congrats! And this sounds delish!

    Allison
  • How wonderfully simple - I love it. And congratulations on the award. Well deserved :)

    Kirsty
  • Congratulations Heidi. It's so wonderful to read about your much deserved achievement ... everything you do, you do with such grace.

    Deborah
  • Congratulations on the award! We grate hard cheese onto just about everything; never would have thought to turn it into a spread/sauce. Ingenious!

    Matt Freedman
  • Congratulations, Heidi! I saw the list of winners yesterday and did a little dance for you.

    Morgan
  • Congratulations on winning, Heidi! Very well-deserved.

    Molly in Minneapolis
  • Congrats on the JBA! Hip hip hooray!

    Laura
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