Spreads and dips are so quick and simple to put together, I’m not sure why I don’t do it more often. It is wonderful to have a container of spread in the refrigerator that will turn the plainest sandwich into a gourmet delight or to use it as a dip with veggies and chips. When you have a secret weapon like this in your arsenal, you can be the food wizard with little time investment. Have more than one variety of spread in the refrigerator and it will seem like you have a deli in your kitchen.
If you enjoy the rich flavor of sun dried tomatoes that have been packed in oil, then you will particularly enjoy this spread that can bring back the high tastes of summer at any time of the year, especially enchanting in the cold dark of winter.
Inspiration for this spread came from an Ina Garten recipe. I took her formula and added several more flavors. The result is dense and rich.
You can use it as a spread on bread or crackers, a dip with cauliflower, a sauce to toss with steamed veggies, a topping for baked or fried fish, or a replacement for mayonnaise in many recipes. Keep it around and you will find endless ways to use your sun dried tomato spread.
- 8 oz package of creamed cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream, lebneh (kefir cheese), or thick Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup good mayonnaise, preferably homemade
- 3/4 cups of sun dried tomatoes preserved in oil, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2/3 cup roasted sweet red pepper chunks, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- a few splashes of Tabasco sauce
- Using a food processor, thoroughly mix the creamed cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream.
- If you like a creamy spread with the vegetable ingredients totally blended in, add all the vegetables ingredients and blend in the food processor until smooth. If you like your spreads chunky, place the creamed cheese mix in a bowl and mix the vegetables in by hand until they are thoroughly distributed.
- Check for salt. Add it a bit at a time, tasting after each addition. This is really quite the cook’s perk! Add salt until you are satisfied. Take into consideration whether you will be using this spread with something that is already salty.
- If you like really spicy spreads and the jalapeno pepper did not add enough kick, then try adding some Tabasco. Add this a splash at a time, tasting as you go. There is no need to ruin a wonderful spread with too much fire.
If possible, refrigerate this spread for 8 hours before using it. The flavors will blend and reach a new high. Store your spread in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and the spread will stay fresh and wonderful for about five days, perhaps a bit longer.
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