Spicy Southern Pimento Cheese Spread with Buttery Toasts
I remember eating pimento cheese on white bread sandwiches when I visited my grandmother’s house as a kid. I liked them, but it wasn’t something I remember eating all the time. And since I had lived in the south my whole life, I didn’t realize it was a traditionally southern food. Fast forward 25 years later, when I haven’t given pimento cheese a second thought in years. I am watching one of my favorite celebrity cooking shows, and she makes pimento cheese spread. I guess I never realized it was something people actually made. I’d always assumed it was just something you bought. But it looked so easy, I had to put it on my to-make list. Our friends, Glen and Merle, came over with their kids last night for a barbecue, and I got to try it out. My version is a little spicy. This is also a great make-ahead dish.
When it comes to cheese, I will always use freshly grated in my recipes. I buy several kinds of cheese in block bulk on a regular basis: cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and feta. By having these 4 on hand at all times, I can have cheese for any type of meal I feel like making, whether it’s taco night, omelets, or chicken parmesan. When you buy in bulk and grate it at home, not only do you save money, but you also get better tasting cheese, and it doesn’t have the additives that are in pre-grated cheese.
Serves 8 Appetizer Servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Crusty bread (I used one sprouted wheat loaf and one sourdough loaf, but a baguette would work, too)
2/3 cup light mayonnaise
2/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 1/3 cup freshly grated yellow cheddar cheese
4 ounce jar of diced pimentos
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less according to your tastes)
- Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the bread into slices about ½ inch thick. Melt the butter, and brush both sides of each slice with the melted butter. Arrange bread on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Combine mayonnaise, cheeses, pimentos with the juice, and cayenne pepper, Mix all until thoroughly combined.
- Serve when the toasts have cooled and the spread is chilled.