Benedictine Spread

benedictine spread dip
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist:Christine Keely Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
4

The historic recipe for Benedictine Spread was originally created by Jennie Carter Benedict, an iconic Kentucky restauranteur, cookbook author, and philanthropist. In addition to operating Jennie Benedict & Co, a much-acclaimed Louisville restaurant and tea room, Benedict also cooked for some of the early 20th century's most distinguished figures, such as President Theodore Roosevelt. Missing from Miss Benedict's Blue Ribbon Cookbook, published in 1902, is her recipe for Benedictine, her famed cucumber and cream cheese sandwich spread. Our Test Kitchen sought to recreate the iconic dish, which has since become a staple of Kentucky Derby gatherings.

In this recipe for Benedictine Spread, we forgo the green food dye—often used to color this historic dip—in favor of chives, which add natural green color and a lovely oniony flavor. It's primarily composed of cream cheese, grated cucumber, and plenty of chopped chives. Squeezing the excess liquid out of the cucumber keeps this dip creamy rather than watery. Sour cream adds a note of tang to the dip—and don't skimp on the salt.

This dip can be enjoyed on its own or used as a spread for sandwiches or canapes. Serve this dip as suggested with mixed vegetables, or for a twist, serve with radishes, which add a spicy element to the dish. Or, as always, pair with ever-faithful potato chips.

Ingredients

  • 1 large (about 12 ounces) English cucumber, peeled

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish (from 1 [1-ounce] package)

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper 

  • Serving options: carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber spears

Directions

  1. Grate cucumber, wrap tightly in paper towel, and squeeze out excess liquid. Combine cucumber, cream cheese, chives, sour cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and process until combined, about 60 seconds. Transfer to a container, cover, and chill at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

  2. Remove from refrigerator, garnish with chives, and serve with carrots, celery, and cucumber.

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