Category Archives: Spreads

Cheezy Tofu

cheese, deep, lunch, sandwich, snack, Tofu

The Art is Cooking

Eat with bread or cracker, or as filling for some veggies, or as a filling for dates, or in salads delicious mixed with seasonal tomatoes and basil!

Among non vegetarians tofu often gets a bad wrap. I can understand why if you look at it from the perspective of the “normal” western taste. Westerners in general are not so enthusiastic about bland tastes, we like strong flavors and extremes: fat, sweet and salty. But due its modest and bland character, tofu is a very agreeable and willing to comply with the idiosyncrasies of our western taste. We can fit tofu into many different costumes and the “cheezy” costume is one that can be approached in several different ways. Why create the illusion of cheese? Well, one reason could be a desire to not eat animal products due to one or all of the many reasons out there: animal welfare, environment…

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Five favorite spreads for easy party or picnic appetizers


Roasted red pepper and garlic hummus crostiniAppetizer spreads to smear on crackers or toast or slices of cucumber are a party host’s best friend. No matter the ingredients, most spreads taste better when made at least a few hours ahead, so the flavors can meld. The food processor or blender makes spreads quick and easy, and the guests do their own smearing a la minute. Here are five of my favorite spreads for easy party or picnic appetizers. Serve with toast, crackers or crudités — or with all three.

MuhammaraSome of my favorite spreads originate in the Mediterranean region. Roasted red pepper and garlic hummus (top photo), based on a traditional chickpea recipe, makes a wonderful topping for crostini or filling for pitas. Muhammara brings the lemony flavor of pomegranate together with roasted red peppers, walnuts and cashews.

Roasted eggplant spread with garlic, pepper and onions.

Roasted eggplant spread with garlic, pepper and onions, another spread inspired by Italian caponata, gets its smoky flavor from Spanish smoked paprika. Serve it with toasted pita chips, crackers or celery stalks.

Herbed cheese spreadEveryone loves boursin, the little boxes of herbed cheese you can buy in the supermarket. This homemade herbed cheese spread, made with lots of garlic and thyme from the garden, is positively addictive. Spread it on toast and top with a fresh tomato, or layer it with sliced beef and arugula in grilled panini. You can make this a few days in advance.

Smoked bluefish paté.Smoked bluefish paté, adapted from the popular appetizer at Boston’s Legal Sea Foods restaurants, is the kind of treat you serve to guests you know will love it. The assertive fish and caramelized onion flavor won’t appeal to everyone, but anyone who loves smoked fish will adore it.

Five of my favorite spreads — something for every taste. To find more recipes, type the word “spread” or “dip” into the search box at the top of the right-hand column.

Make these ahead to serve for your holiday weekend parties.

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