artichoke & lemon cheese spread

A luscious yet light lemony spread, easily prepared by hand or in a food processor, from my award-winning cookbook Cooking Class: A chef’s step-by-step guide to stress-free dinner parties that are simply elegant!

1 clove garlic
1 small jar (6.5 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
freshly grated zest of  1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
salt and pepper to taste

Food processor method:

Drop garlic through feed tube with machine running to mince. Add artichoke hearts; pulse-process to chop. Add lemon zest and juice, thyme and cream cheese. Process to blend. Correct seasonings.

By hand:

Mince garlic. Chop artichoke hearts finely. Combine garlic, artichoke hearts, lemon zest and juice, thyme and cream cheese in mixing bowl. Blend well. Correct seasonings.

To serve:

Spoon cheese mixture into two 6-ounce crocks or ramekins, smoothing the tops. Cover tightly and chill. Make ahead and refrigerate up to one week, or freeze for two months.

Let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving to soften. Serve on a tray surrounded with crackers or small toasts, or with a pastry bag, pipe rosettes of the cheese spread onto crackers for a more elegant presentation. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives.

Makes two crocks, each serving four.


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