Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pimento Cheese and Apple Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Last night was one of those nights when my husband worked late, so I was on my own for dinner. I have been seized with the inspiration to try my hand at pimento cheese ever since seeing it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives a couple of weeks ago. I'm a born and bred New England girl, so I have no first hand experience with pimento cheese and in fact, I had never even heard of it until seeing it on that show.

So . . . I'm sure my version of pimento cheese is not "authentic", but it was still delicious. Very easy to make and full of bold flavors that worked well together. I just spread mine on some whole wheat and toasted it for a quick meal that pleased both me and my kids.

To make the pimento cheese:

Start out by shredding equal portions of smoked gouda and sharp cheddar. I used about one cup of each. In a large bowl, combine the cheese with salt, pepper and cayenne. If you don't like it spicy, you don't have to use the cayenne. In a coffee mug, combine 2 tbsp light mayo and 2 tbsp room temp cream cheese. Mix well. Add in a little bit of the liquid from your jar of pimentos; about 1 tbsp. Mix again, then set aside. Dice your pimentos until you have about one cup of them, somewhat finely chopped. Add them to the cheese, then pour the mayo/cream cheese mixture over it. Mix well, taking care to coat the cheese equally. Your pimento cheese is now ready to use.

I needed something to go on the side of my pimento cheese, and I wanted something light. I just diced an apple and half of a cucumber and topped it with a tiny little balsamic vinaigrette. All you do to make the balsamic vinaigrette is combine equal portions balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, then whisk until it's emulsified. It made a cool, satisfying salad that was extremely easy to prepare.

I had a lot of other things to do last night besides cooking. My carpets needed some steam cleaning, I had a gift to wrap for a bridal shower, and I had a ton of laundry calling my name. 'Easy' was the order of the night. But easy doesn't have to mean that it's not delicious ;)

1 comment:

  1. Why would I never think of something as simple as pairing cucumbers, apples, and balsamic vinaigrette? Sounds wonderfully delish!