Blue cheese walnut spread     

Blue cheese walnut spread

We kept the food at our recent Stomping Girl barrel tasting event super simple and Pinot Noir-friendly. We didn’t want to overpower the wine but did want to serve something–seems prudent to offer a bite to eat when people are drinking wine, even if it is small pours.  I served two spreads–my favorite go-to blue cheese spread and a new smoked salmon spread recipe–and water crackers.  They are both very simple, tasty and can be prepared ahead of time.

My blue cheese spread is, roughly:

  • 2 oz. Pt. Reyes Original Blue Cheese (or other quality blue cheese)
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz. butter, softened
  • handful chopped walnuts

Mix together cheeses and butter with hand mixer.  Toast walnuts in dry skillet over medium heat.  Stir cooled nuts into cheese mixture.  Transfer to small serving bowl.  Sprinkle a few walnuts on top and serve with crackers or sliced baguette.  Yum!  Many people have told me that although they are not blue cheese fans, they like this spread.  I myself can devour a crock of this mildly flavored spread in no time.

The smoked salmon spread was an Ina Garten recipe from Food Network.  I left out the horseradish–too strong for Pinot Noir–and slightly reduced the amount of sour cream.  The fresh dill was a nice touch and was not too much for the wine.

So next time you need a quick appetizer to impress your friends with, whip together one of these spreads (I recommend the blue cheese) and pop open a bottle of Stomping Girl Pinot Noir.  If you can’t wait until January 2010, our release date, I suppose another bottle of Pinot would work, too.  Cheers!