Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

The herb garden is doing well. I love going out to clip a handful - chives, oregano, thyme, parsley, and adding them to salads or soups.

This spread, which could also be used as a dip, uses nothing but fresh ingredients. It tastes better if the flavours have some time to get to know each other in the fridge before serving. Equally good spread on toasted baguettes, crackers, or with fresh vegetables, it's a summery staple that comes together easily.

Note: I used 1% cottage cheese and light sour cream. Feel free to use the fuller fat varieties - you'll probably land up with a creamier taste.

Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 green onions, green parts thinly sliced and the white parts minced

To chop the fresh herbs, I like to give them a good rinse, dry them well, then place them all in a heap on the cutting board, along with the garlic cloves, and run my chef's knife through them until they are a fragrant heap of green and white on the board.

Combine the cottage cheese, the sour cream, the salt and lemon in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the chopped herbs. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Almost Piña Colada Popsicles

Summer time treats, for me, always include popsicles. They are easy to make and handy to have in the freezer for a cool taste on a hot day. I'm hoping for many hot days this summer. These are mild in flavour, full of pineapple, coconut milk and banana. A dash of rum or rum flavouring wouldn't come amiss for more of the piña colada flavour, but you might want to leave it out if these are intended for children.

My popsicle molds are old Tupperware ones - they've been around for at least 35, maybe 40 years - they first belonged to my mother. I've lost a few of the handles, but a wooden popsicle stick fits into the slot quite nicely.

Almost Piña Colada Popsicles

1 can (398 ml) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tablespoon light rum OR 1 tsp rum extract

Whir everything together in a blender. Pour into molds. Freeze. Enjoy on a hot summer day!