5 Ingredients or Fewer

Heidi Swanson’s Parmesan Cheese Spread

May 19, 2021
10 Ratings
Photo by Emily Dryden
  • Makes about 1 1/2 cups of spread
Author Notes

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

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is a part of Cheese Week—seven days of recipes and stories, all cheese—presented by our friends at Proudly Wisconsin Cheese —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 1/4 cup 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
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Donald Partlan
    Donald Partlan
  • Jeff Winett
    Jeff Winett
  • Felicia Nelson
    Felicia Nelson
  • jessicamclement
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

12 Reviews

Mark R. May 20, 2024
Sober for 18 years, what’s a good substitute for the wine in this case?
sarausa January 14, 2024
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sarausa January 14, 2024
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sarausa January 14, 2024
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Donald P. February 10, 2023
I'm very impressed with this recipe. The taste was much subtler than I had imagined. To save money and time I used a container of finely grated parmesan, but I had to double the oil and wine quantities.
Keira January 31, 2018
Whoa, what happened to the negative comment? I was unaware that Food 52 edited their comments. I agreed with the negative comment. It tasted like uncooked fondue cold. Something definitely amiss. I was going to try heating it up as that reviewer suggested....
Kristen M. January 31, 2018
I think the comment you're looking for is over here on the article page: https://food52.com/blog/20261-genius-no-cook-parmesan-cheese-dip (We only remove comments if they're flagged as abusive or otherwise not following our Code of Conduct, but we welcome any constructive comments, even the negative ones.)
Jeff W. January 4, 2018
What an intense flavor filled appetizer. To enjoy the pure taste of high quality Reggiano, but as a soft spread, was such a revelation. I did sprinkle a little lemon zest on top, but next time I will go the "less is more" route.
Felicia N. November 25, 2017
Are you supposed to cook this? I don't see anywhere in the directions or description that it should be cooked.
Kristen M. November 25, 2017
It's no cook! The finely-grated cheese stirs into the olive oil and makes a lovely spread.
Felicia N. November 25, 2017
Even better! Thanks for confirming! I would love to have this ready for impromptu snacking needs!
jessicamclement August 17, 2017
Has anyone tried this with a dry rosé? (We don't drink much white wine in the house...)