Russian Cheese Spread (Syrnyi Pashtet) 8.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Staff Favorites Jan 17, 2016

This wonderfully pungent spread of cheese, carrots and garlic is a crowd-pleaser. Feel free to use more or less of any ingredient, as the recipe is quite adaptable to what you have on hand.

Serve with toasts or crackers, or spread on sandwiches.

Make Ahead: The spread needs to be refrigerated in an airtight container for at least 2 hours -- preferably overnight -- and up to 3 days.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes about 2 cups

  • About 12 ounces havarti cheese
  • 2 medium carrots, well scrubbed (about 3 3/4 ounces)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann's (not low-fat or nonfat)


Use a food processor or the large-holed side of a box grater to shred the cheese, then transfer it to a mixing bowl.

Coarsely chop the carrots and garlic; transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Add to the mixing bowl, along with 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, using a fork to stir and mash the mixture. Add some or all of the remaining 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise as needed to bind the spread together.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, to allow the garlic to mellow and the flavors to meld.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Moscow resident Ganna Lvovna Klyachko and "The Art of Russian Cuisine," by Anne Volokh (Collier Books/Macmillan, 1983).

Tested by Kara Elder.

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