Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Herbed Cheese - a tutorial

When I hold classes here on my farm, we always take a break for a snack about half way through.  The snacks are very simple, herbed cheese and crackers and a bite of Ghiradelli chocolate.

 What does everyone go crazy over?  The cheese!

Since we are in the middle of a season filled with parties and special dinners, I thought you might enjoy learning how to make herbed cheese.  No need to buy those nasty cheese balls from the store anymore!  This will taste SO much better and will save you money too! Normally I prefer to make this with a chevre cheese that I make with our wonderful goat's milk.  However, this can easily be made using cream cheese - so let's get started.

What you will need:

Cream cheese...softened to room temperature!

Any herb of your choice, garlic, cutting board, sharp knife and a garlic press!  Today we are using dill!

Do you know how to easily open a clove of garlic?  Let's do that first!  Take your knife (wide blade) and lay it flat side down on your clove of garlic.

Got it?  Great!  Now close your fist, hold it over the knife....

And give it a good smack!

That hard skin enclosing the clove of garlic will pop right open!

Pull off that hard skin...see how easy that is!

What a beautiful clove of garlic!

Pop that into a garlic press - this is one of my indispensable kitchen tools (yep! still working on that post!)....

And press that out into your bowl of softened cream cheese...

I would use 5 or 6 large cloves to three blocks of cream cheese.  We love garlic and I want a flavorful cheese!  If you want less, then do less.  Mix this well.

Next, begin to chop your herb.  I remove the larger stems as I chop.

By the time you are finished, you should have a finely chopped herb..this will provide your cheese with a lot of flavor!

Throw your herb into your bowl of garlicky cheese and mix well again.  Save a sprig of your herb to decorate with. Place in a pretty bowl and serve with crackers!

Such an easy and simple thing to make but believe me...people will go crazy over this cheese.  Your imagination is the only limit on what herbal combinations to are some of the ones I've done:

cilantro and garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano and garlic, basil and garlic, chive and garlic, oregano and basil with garlic...I even took a cup of my homemade salsa, let the juices drain out of it and threw that in the cheese to make a salsa cheese.  My boys loved it!

If I had little girls, I'd make a flowered cheese - fresh lavender buds, calendula petals, nasturtium flowers, chive bud flowers and any other edible flowers I was growing. After mixing, I'd roll the cheese in fresh flower petals and have a tea party!

Let me know what creations you come up with!



  1. Cheri, this looks like a great idea that I plan to use! I hope you guys have a great Christmas. -Betsy (Hopper) Herman

  2. Betsy!!!! Hi!!! I miss you :) I have a million questions...but I won't ask them here - hope all is well at your home!
    Much love,


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