So, we finally reach the end of 2022. I’m glad. It hasn’t been the best of years but I should know better than to complain. We’ve managed to avoid an invisible adversary that has been wreaking havoc on the world for three years. That’s reason enough to cheer and celebrate. We so look forward to 2023 hoping that it will finally reveal the light at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re planning your New Year’s Eve menu while, at the same time, still wondering what to do with excess food from your Christmas lunch or dinner, you probably don’t want to cook more dishes that will leave you reheating leftovers until Valentine’s Day. Make this cheese spread for your New Year party and I guarantee that nothing will be left to store in the fridge.
There’s no cooking involved here. And the ingredients list is short. You may substitute other herbs for the scallions, dill and mint used here. But do stick with fresh herbs because dried won’t give this dish the texture and appearance that makes it so appetizing. Just chop the herbs as finely as you can manage then toss with a bit of seasoning.
Take a block of cream cheese and wrap in cling film. Don’t bring it to room temperature. It’s easier to shape it if it’s well chilled. Using your hands, press the cheese into a rounded pyramid to resemble a Christmas tree.
Unwrap the cream cheese directly onto the plate of chopped herbs. Using a small spatula, roll the cheese around, pressing down lightly as you roll, until covered with herbs.
Arrange your herb-covered cream cheese on the side of a plate and, optionally, garnish it to make it look even more festive. Pomegranate seeds are used here but you may opt for chopped nuts. Lightly toasted walnuts are especially good.
Now that you have your Christmas tree, you’ll want to top it with a star. Take a slice of carrot and cut it into a star. I used a cookie cutter but, if you don’t have one, you can just use a knife.
Arrange crackers beside the herby cream cheese spread, provide small spatulas for scooping up the cheese and serve.
Herby cream cheese spread
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- ¼ teaspoon seasoning
- 1 250-gram block cream cheese - well chilled
- pomegranate seeds - to garnish
- 1 slice carrot - to garnish
- crackers - to serve
- Stir together the herbs and spread on a plate.
- Sprinkle in the seasoning.
- Discard the cream cheese wrapper, place the cold cheese on a sheet of cling film and wrap.
- Shape the cream cheese with your hands to resemble a Christmas tree.
- Unwrap the cream cheese directly into the herbs and roll until the surface is covered with the herbs.
- Place the herby cream cheese on a plate and press pomegranate seeds all over.
- Cut the carrot slice into a star and press on top of the cream cheese Christmas tree.
- Serve with crackers.