Blue Cheese Spread with Spiced Walnuts

When her winery, Single Leaf Vineyards & Winery, participates in big festivals, owner Pam Miller uses this appetizer, which can be made ahead and easily multiplied. It goes well with Single Leaf's Chardonnay.

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups; 6 to 8 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 299
  • Calories from fat: 69%
  • Protein: 6.9g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 356mg
  • Cholesterol: 45mg

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chèvre (goat) cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or milk
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 dozen unsalted water crackers or thin apple slices

Preparation

  1. 1. Beat cream cheese, blue cheese, chèvre, butter, and brandy until creamy. Stir in 2 tablespoons chives. Mound in a small, shallow dish. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  3. 3. Pour chili oil and olive oil into an 8- to 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add walnuts. Stir often until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it melts onto nuts, about 1 minute.
  4. 4. Pour hot nuts into bowl with spices and mix to coat. If making ahead, let cool and store airtight up to 2 days.
  5. 5. Sprinkle nuts and remaining 1 tablespoon chives over cheese. Spread mixture onto crackers.
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