THE KIND YOU EAT, NOT DRINK
THANKS TO LOUISVILLE CATERER, RESTAURATEUR AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR JENNIE BENEDICT, A CUCUMBER AND CREAM CHEESE SPREAD, KNOWN FOR ITS CATCHY GREEN COLOR, HAS BECOME A FAMOUS KENTUCKY CULINARY FAVORITE.
Say “Benedictine” to any Louisvillian and their thoughts will turn to a snack, not a beverage.
Miss Jennie Benedict invented her savory spread in a one-room kitchen in the family backyard around the turn of the 20th century and famously served it to Louisville high society and workers alike earning it her namesake years later.
Now the scrumptious spread and finger sandwich filling is a menu must-have for any Kentucky host worth their salt. It’s almost a guarantee that it will be served at baby and bridal showers in the Bluegrass, as well as Derby parties and spring luncheons.
And, be sure and add some oomph to your St. Patrick’s Day party by offering the conversational green condiment!
In addition to being prepared on tiny tea sandwiches, Benedictine is popular as a dip for chips and crackers, and for filling potatoes.
You can pick up a container of it at several local spots, including Paul’s Fruit Market, Nancy’s Bagel Grounds, Nord’s Bakery and The Cheddar Box, who all usually have it handy. You can also find the spread on sandwiches, like the Benedictine and Bacon sandwich at Lilly’s, and on the menu seasonally at a slew of local restaurants.
Jennie Benedict’s Benedictine:
8 ounces of cream cheese softened
3 tablespoons cucumber juice
1 tablespoon onion juice
1 teaspoon salt
A few grains of cayenne pepper
2 drops green food coloring
To get the cucumber juice, peel and grate a cucumber. Then wrap with a clean dish towel and squeeze juice into a dish. Discard pulp. Do the same for the onion. Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended. Using a blender will make the spread too runny. Serve as a dip or a sandwich filling.