Monday, August 31, 2009


Do you know about Benedictine spread? It's a delicious cucumber and cream cheese spread. It was invented in Louisville by a prominent caterer named Jennie Benedict. She was Louisville's foremost caterer at the turn of the 20th century, and Benedictine spread is her most well-known recipe. She also published a cookbook of her recipes in 1904, which she called The Blue Ribbon Cookbook. It was out of print for many years, but was recently reprinted, and I received a copy of it for Christmas last year. Many of the recipes are, well...strange. There's a whole chapter on "Sick Room Cookery," foods meant to help speed the recovery from illness. I haven't made many things from this cookbook, but I did decide to try one of the many Benedictine recipes that have been included. "Miss Jennie" didn't include her own recipe for Benedictine in any of her cookbooks, but many local restarauteurs included theirs in the newest reprint of The Blue Ribbon Cookbook. The one I tried comes from Lilly's restaraunt in Louisville.
My sister Allison loves Benedictine just as much as I do, so I decided to make her a batch of Benedictine to have for her lunch this week. Why? No reason, really. I just love her! I hope she enjoys it. I tasted it, and it's pretty darn good. I'll have to try some of the other recipes as well. Cucumbers have been on sale lately...grab a couple and make a batch of Benedictine!
Lilly's Benedictine
Kathy Cary, owner of Lilly's Restaurant in Louisville
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
2 Tbs. red onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. fresh dill, finely chopped
Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Add other ingredients and mix well.

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