Maybe it’s because we’re based in the Southeast—but at BookPage, there’s no argument when it comes to the utter deliciousness of pimiento cheese. In our current cookbook of the month, Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen (read a review), Foster shares a delectable recipe for this classic spread that could become a new favorite!
Whether spread on saltines, white bread, or “celery boats,” tangy, creamy Pimiento Cheese is seriously habit-forming. A simple mix of mayonnaise or cream cheese, shredded Cheddar, and jarred red peppers, Pimiento Cheese is one of those unassuming Southern classics that can sometimes be a hard sell for people who didn’t grow up on it. But when it’s made right, it’s easy to see why Southerners are so passionate about it. Try it—it may just become your new obsession.
makes about 2 cups
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- One 4-ounce jar pimiento peppers, drained and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup your favorite or Homemade Mayonnaise (page 280)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, pimiento peppers, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, cayenne, and salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl and stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to 1 week. For best flavor, make 1 day ahead.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
These crunchy, savory toasts are the upside of cornbread’s short shelf life. Scrumptious and versatile, they can be used in dozens of dishes and snacks—but I’m especially partial to the way they complement zingy Pimiento Cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut day-old cornbread into slices about 1⁄4 inch thick and 2 inches long. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon a dollop of Pimiento Cheese (recipe above) on one end of each toast and garnish with an arugula or celery leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.