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

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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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Huge congratulations. That's such a wonderful accomplishment. My good friend Gina DePalma from Babbo (exec pastry chef) won a couple of years ago and I remember the excitement. My mother, at 86, still uses her James Beard cookbook (held together with rubber bands). Only the best in the ndustry are even considered!!! The dip recipe - oy -- I think I am going to make it and then run about three miles. Beautiful. I am seeing this with blanched baby asparagus on my B&B brunch table for this coming Sunday. :)

I meal plan every week so I can make fun, creative, healthy foods for my family. Your recipes are about four dinners a week. I make your animal crackers for my kids and spread the magic sauce on everything! You deserve recognition for the fabulous foid and "favorites" you share with us:)


James Beard award! How awesome is that! Congratulations, Heidi! I can almost smell this spread. I'll bet roasted garlic would be sumptuous as an add in! I wonder if it could be the beginning of a great little Caesaresque dressing? Going to make this right away. Thank you!


You have me at "cheese" :-)

Excellent! So happy for you -- well deserved.

Melissa from Trout Valley

Congratulations Heidi. I agree with the others: very well deserved! May it open new doors for you.

Yet another recipe that exemplifies why I keep coming back for more--classy, simple, tasty, beautiful. Congrats.

Wow! Congratulations on a well deserved award.

Brenda Claybrook

Congratulations on the JBA!


Congratulations! You deserve it and more!!

Cannot wait to make this with some pecorino and maybe a heavy twist of black pepper and some lemon zest. Yum. And warm congratulations to you, Heidi! So well deserved. You've been such an inspiration in my kitchen over the years :)

Congratulations on the award, Heidi! You have reminded my my parents' cheese spread recipe. Grate dry cheese, mix it with fresh squeezed garlic and mayonnaise. It was amazing. Will make it!

Congrats on the award, and thanks for sharing this spread-can't wait to try ;)

Wohoo! Congratulations! :)

Deepika Sukhwani

Congratulations, Heidi! It is well deserved indeed! Please keep inspiring us all and having fun! Cheers!


OMG! You were in NYC. I have been out of the loop recently so this is a little late but how wonderful for you. Without a doubt, you deserve it, you earned it, and now you got it. Congratulations multifold and frenetic dancing ensues. In short...Yea! Most of my food shopping happens at the Farmer's Market at Union Square, four days a week and I always mention you and your site to at least one person although I spread the word in general. It's the least I can do. The Union Square Market is my food shopping and social occasion. When I have the time I bring things to eat as farmers are stuck there all day surround by expensive restaurants and cheap food. Even the doorman at one of my jobs (I'm a semi-retired visiting nurse for animals) has thanked me for turning him onto you. There are others. LOL So thank you Heidi. I am now pondering what I will substitute for wine in your cheese spread which looks beyond delicious. Will report back. I got ideas...


Wow! Congrats Heidi! Just saw the photos on the James Beard exciting! And you looked great too. ;) I'm taking this dip and a baguette with me camping in Big Sur this weekend - I don't think anyone will be upset about that.


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