Baked Rosemary-Rhubarb Spread

Chips and dip.  Crackers and spread.  There are approximately 6.8 billion combinations of the two, and like the quest for the Holy Grail, I will never tire of tracking down and making all of them.

I obviously have no idea how many combinations there are, but I’m guessing there are as many as there are people on the planet to come up with them.  These simple, comforting, and wonderful snacks are truly one of life’s greatest pleasures.  That time, I wasn’t exaggerating.

Instead of the most obvious and traditional of rhubarb staples, pie, I wanted to find as many unique ways to use it as possible – enter, rhubarb in spread form.

This spread could not be easier to throw together – everybody into the food processor, then into the oven for hot time.

There’s something really nostalgic and 50s/60s housewife dinner party about this spread.  Rosemary definitely steals the show, while rhubarb creeps in at the end to hit you with just a little bitter, tart flavor.  This spread got me thinking that I should suggest a rosemary flavored cream cheese to Philadelphia.  Fresh rosemary is a seriously saucy minx!

After several tastes I also got to thinking that this takes on a pate like consistency, but unlike most vegetarian pates I’ve tried, this one tastes great, and would be the perfect fake-out for the veg in your life.

Baked Rosemary-Rhubarb Spread

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 egg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pine nuts

Assorted crackers

Directions:

Place rhubarb in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, egg, flour, rosemary, garlic and pepper flakes; cover and process until blended. Add rhubarb; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a greased 9-in. pie plate. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and center is set. Serve with crackers.

From Taste of Home

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