A savory spread can go from appetizer to midafternoon snack to sandwich condiment in the blink of an eye. Most of these recipes from our archives also travel well; drop a few sleeves of crackers along with a jar of spread in your tote, and make a picnic out of it.
Or just keep a stash in your refrigerator at all times for snacking emergencies. Either way.
Artichoke Tapenade, above. Crack open a can of artichoke hearts, pour out the liquid, then add the contents to the bowl of a food processor with some green olives, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic and Aleppo pepper. Blend until smooth, adjust for salt as needed, and you’re good to spread. We really liked it on seedy thin crackers, but it goes well with toast or flatbread, too.
Parmigiano ‘Gelato.’ A little party trick for you: Warm a cup of heavy cream in a saucepan, stir in some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg, then transfer that mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until it magically firms up (it’ll take a few hours, but you could also let it sit overnight). Once it’s scooped and spread over toast, the consistency is similar to — you guessed it — gelato! Drizzle it with thick balsamic vinegar (or another sticky, tart thing like pomegranate molasses).
Russian Cheese Spread (Syrnyi Pashtet). Just four ingredients — cheese, carrots, garlic and mayo — are required for this garlicky spread. It comes together quickly if you use a food processor, but you can also use the large holes of a box grater. Serve with crackers or add it to grilled cheese.
Pistachio and Feta Dip. A generous amount of pistachios are mixed with plenty of feta, some dill and cilantro, and a little Greek yogurt to bind it all together. There’s a little kick, too, from a small red chile pepper; you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes if your stash of fresh peppers is low.
Sweet-and-Sour Red Onion Jam. Tired of pickled red onions? Turn them into jam! These go well in sandwiches, draped over tacos or served with a cheese board. They do take some time to cook down, but it’s mostly inactive time on your part; give them a stir every once in a while, and soon you’ll be jammin’.
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