I cannot stress enough how quickly this elegant cheese dip from Heidi Swanson can materialize in front of you—or how many situations you may find yourself grateful for it. Your in-laws—or coworkers or dogsitters—are passing through the neighborhood. (Quick! Cheese dip.) You spaced on appetizers for your dinner party (cheese dip). Or, whoops, the party is suddenly pacing an hour behind schedule (cheese dip). You have a hankering for a quick, salty snack with some substance, but all you’ve got in the cheese drawer is that stiff, ageless block of Parm. Voilà! Instant appetizer. Adapted slightly from 101 Cookbooks. —Genius Recipes
about 1 1/2 cups of spread
2 1/2 cups
(5 1/2 ounces / 150g) finely grated Parmesan cheese (on a Microplane)
scant 1/4 cup (50ml) extra virgin olive oil
dry white wine
add-in ideas: black pepper, lemon juice, chopped dried figs, chopped dates, finely lots of chopped chives, lemon zest, or red pepper flakes, dried herbs, chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Combine the cheese, olive oil, and wine in a jar or bowl. Stir gently until it all comes together, then press the cheese down a bit into a flat surface. It will keep like this, drizzled with a layer of olive oil, for a few weeks refrigerated. (Let it come back down to room temperature before serving.)
To serve the cheese, scoop out a bit into a separate smaller bowl or plate, and stir in or sprinkle with any add-ins at this point. Serve with crackers, toasts, or crudités; spread on sandwiches; layer in tarts; spoon into soups.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.