Don’t you just love December? So many things you can celebrate and so many foods you can cook in doing so. Inspired by a a very special dip that I had at I+J’s Christmas party the day prior, I decided to come up with a jazzed up vegetarian pâté and some Melba toast to offer at the Lindsays’ annual Christmas party.
This pâté was a hit among the children. They kept on coming back for more, polished up the Melba toast in one go! I’m always pleased when children like my food, because they are the most honest critics you will ever find.
Cheese, Garlic + Herb Pâté
1 tbsp butter
2 garlic clove, crushed and chopped finely
5 scallions, finely chopped
1 250gr block Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 tbsp of cream
4 tbsp chopped mixed herbs (I used basil and flat leaf parsley, but you can alway use others like marjoram or oregano)
1 1/2 cups finely grated sharp hard cheese (some idea: gouda, mimolette, sharp cheddar, gruyere, etc.)
A sprinkle of paprika/chili powder to garnish
6 slices of white bread
- Melt the butter in a small skillet and gently fry the garlic and scallions together for 3-4 minutes (or until fragrant and garlic change color slightly). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Using a handheld electric beater, beat the soft cheese and cream in a large mixing bowl until smooth, then add the garlic and scallions. Stir in the herbs, mixing well
- Add the hard cheese and work the mixture together to form a stiff paste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- For the Melba toast: toast the slices of bread on both sides. Then cut off the crusts*. Using a sharp bread knife, cut through the slices horizontally to make very thin slices. Cut into trianglets and then lightly broil the untoasted side until golden**.
- Serve the pâté garnished with a sprinkle of paprika, with the Melba toast arranged nicely on a plate. (Optional: you can serve this with mixed salad greens and cherry tomatoes.)
* Keep the crusts and blend them in a food processor and make fresh bread crumbs for future use
** If broiling is an issue, you can also alternatively heat up the oven to 220C and bake the trianglets for 10 minutes, untoasted side up.