It’s State Fair time in Minnesota. There couldn’t be a better time for me to share a recipe featuring Gedney (the Minnesota pickle) pickles. Each year at the fair, blue ribbon pickle packer winners turn over their pickle recipes to Gedney, the most famous pickle plant in Minnesota and one of the oldest in the country. Gedney reworks the recipe to produce huge quantities, and the blue ribbon winners get their pictures right on the jar. How fun!
I used Norwegian Dills, a recipe shared with Gedney by Vicky Gjerde of Rush City, Minnesota when they won her a blue ribbon in 1995. They’re just a little bit hot, but not enough to burn your tastebuds. They are just right for mixing with cheese and fresh herbs to create a creamy spread with a dilly taste.
With a base of cream cheese and butter, it’s easy to add any little dibs and dabs of cheeses in your refrigerator drawer. Just grate them up and stir them right into the spread. The herbs in the big barrel in my yard are flourishing. I couldn’t resist snipping a bunch to add to the Two-Tone Spread.
Use whatever herbs you have. Be careful if you add some of the more powerful herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme. A little goes a long way.
This spread gets better with age. Make it a day or two before serving.
Have a picklicious dilly day!
Two-Tone Dilly Cheese Spread
- ½ cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 chubby clove garlic, peeled
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1½ teaspoons pickle juice from jar of dill pickles
- ½ cup chopped dill pickles
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup dill pickle juice from jar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Line a 1½-quart soufflé dish with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overhang around edges. Set aside.
Position knife blade in food processor bowl. Add parsley leaves, thyme, basil, tarragon and garlic. Process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add cream cheese, butter and 1½ teaspoons pickle juice. Process until blended, scraping sides of work bowl. Add chopped dills and process just until combined. Spoon cream cheese mixture into prepared dish, spreading evenly. Set in refrigerator while preparing next layer.
Combine cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter and ¼ cup pickle juice from jar in food processor. When mixture is smooth, add chives and process until combined. Spoon mixture over cream cheese layer, spreading evenly.
Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Unmold onto serving platter about 20 to 30 minutes before serving to give the spread time to soften. Serve with assorted crackers.