Posted by: Catherine | March 8, 2009

Parmesan Cheese Spread (RR*, The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner)


* Reader Recipe

Let me say, unequivocally: This is a keeper!  We served this rich cheese-and-garlic spread with slices of bread, which is absolutely wonderful…but when Alison recommended we put it on a piece of (good) toasted bread like ciabatta and top it off with an egg fried in olive oil, I thought that would really be the piece de resistance.  I hate to be right again (!), but sure enough….That’s what we did the night after The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner–it was one of the best things we’ve ever had. So we did a repeat for breakfast the next morning (thankfully, I was smart enough to keep some for ourselves!). Emma went to school not caring a hoot that she might smell like garlic—that’s how great it was, because she’s at an age when that just might be the topic of conversation among certain girls in front of certain boys. OMG, it’s good! Alison, my friend Daryn’s invite to The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner, is Daryn’s sister. I’ve eaten several meals with her over the years–actually, decades!–Daryn and I have been friends, have discussed  the specialty food shop she dreams of opening after she retires from her career as a reading specialist…and I knew this would be good the minute she unwrapped it—the scent of the cheeses and garlic sent everyone foraging for dipping bread faster than I could slice the baguette. Alison recommends serving at room temperature (it congeals in the fridge), and credits Michael Chiarello. Huge thanks to both of them!

(makes about 4 cups; recipe can halved)

1/2 lb. Asiago cheese

1/2 lb. Parmesan cheese, not too dry, no rind (Alison recommends Bel Gioso from Trader Joe’s)

2 T chopped green onion

1 t. garlic (she uses a little less)

2 t. dried oregano

1 t. red pepper flakes, more if you like

1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

1 to 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil (high quality, fruity)

Cut cheese into one-inch chunks and put into a food processor; process until crumbly. Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, and process again. Add the olive oil while food processor is running and blend until relatively smooth.




  1. This was over-the-top wonderful. I could make this, sit down with a nice loaf of bread, a glass of wine and be in heaven. I loved it. Can’t wait to make it myself.

  2. cheese, cheese, and red pepper flakes–sounds GREAT to me. i tend to abuse the red pepper flakes, using so much that whatever i make is only edible by me. 🙂

  3. Tried this last night & it was delicious – but made a little change, I put it in the microwave for about 35 seconds – it was delicious & a little runny! I will definitely serve this again. Tonight I will try the string beans!

  4. Ate at Bottega last Friday in Yountville and want to recreate the cheese spread and this sounds like it. But, how much olive oil? 1 to 1 1/2 of what? Cups, Tablespoons? Thanks.

    • It’s a cup. Thanks for the catch, and please let me know how you like it. Again, I have to recommend slathering a lightly toasted piece of ciabatta with some of this spread and topping with an egg fried in olive oil.

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