Sometimes we find ourselves with a selection of nearly used up salad dressing bottles, and jars containing a few green olives, capers or Italian pepperocinis in the door of the refrigerator. We always have various small pieces of cheese like cheddar, blue, cream cheese or mozzarella in our cheese bin. All this “stuff” takes up a lot of needless room, but we don’t want to throw any of it out.
Here’s what we do.
We pull out all these seemingly mismatched ingredients and put them on the counter. Chop the olives, and/or a few pepperocinis into small pieces and toss them into a large mixing bowl. Grate up some of the cheeses into this bowl (the small pieces first to use them up) add some capers and pour a little of one or more of the salad dressings into this odds-and-ends concoction.
Mix well. It helps if the cheeses are room temperature because they will blend better, and you don’t want the “spread” to be too soupy. You are looking for the consistency of a light paste. Taste for flavor. Need some garlic? What about freshly ground black pepper? Add some paprika for color or maybe some dried or fresh parsley, or very finely chopped green onions. Maybe chop some sun dried tomatoes – not too many!
Mix well and let sit for about 5 minutes for the ingredients to blend. Stir and taste again. You can’t really make a mistake. Each time the flavors will be different, depending on what you have in your refrigerator.
Now take a loaf of sour dough French bread, or better yet, get some of those mismatched hamburger or hot dog buns! Spread this powerfully tasty and nutritious cheese spread onto the bread (parmesan cheese on top?) and broil it under your broiler the same as you do garlic toast. The cheese will bubble and maybe turn a little brown. When it looks how you want it, take it out, cut and serve!
People are always astonished when they eat this bread, and we rarely have any left. But if you do, cut them up as croutons and use them on top of your next salad!
These toasts are really good as a side dish to a salad or soup meal too.
Don’t forget to save the jars of liquid from those olive, capers, jalapenos or pepperocinis and use them to marinate vegetables. I’ll explain about that another time!