Fresh Cheese and Cilantro Dip Recipe

Fresh Cheese and Cilantro Dip

[Fresh Cheese and Cilantro Dip]

Last Saturday we organized a little impromptu dinner party at our place with our dear neighbor-friends Stéphan and Patricia, and our new neighbor-friends Ligiana and Peter. Ah yes! Didn’t I tell you? We have new neighbors! They moved in a few weeks ago and now occupy the apartment just to the left of ours. A little welcome note slipped under their door, an invitation to join us for drinks and nibbles, and voilà! new neighbor-friends. They are both singers of ancient music, she is from Brasil, he is half-Italian half-Scottish, he loves to cook, she loves to eat — really, we couldn’t have found a better match had we conducted interviews.

For that dinner, while Stéphan prepared a glorious loubia tajine (a white bean tajine), a couscous douceur (“sweetness couscous”, with prunes, dried apricots and almonds) and braised beef, I took care of the appetizer and dessert. I wanted to keep those nice and light since I had an inkling of the Moroccan feast Stéphan was putting together for us. I also had very little time to devote to the preparation since we were out running errands all afternoon, so I opted for two super-easy, super-quick recipes.

The appetizer, which was in fact whipped up just as our guests were arriving and Maxence was serving drinks, was a simple dip made with fresh cheese (I am partial to the plain Recettes de Madame Loïk made with salt from Guérande, of which we consume alarming amounts) and a hefty dose of chopped cilantro, served with sticks of cucumber — a small and knobbly variety that my produce seller calls concombre du jardin.

A typical back-to-basics example of just taking good products and assembling them in the simplest of ways, to deliciously fresh results.

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Dip Fromage Frais Coriandre

– 1/2 C fresh cheese (I use the Recettes de Madame Loïk kind but you can substitute cream cheese, Saint-Morêt or another type of fresh cheese)
– small bouquet of cilantro (coriander in British English), about 25 stems (if cilantro tastes soapy to you, you can use flat-leaf parsley)
– a dash of olive oil
– freshly-ground pepper, to taste
– salt (may not be necessary if the cheese is already salted)
– 2 small cucumbers or one large

Rinse and dry the cilantro. Pluck the leaves and chop them roughly. In a small mixing-bowl, combine the fresh cheese, cilantro, olive oil and pepper, and mix with a fork until thoroughly blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more oil if necessary to reach the desired smoothness.

Rinse, dry, quarter and de-seed the cucumbers; cut in sticks.

Serve the fresh cheese and cilantro dip with the cucumber sticks and optionally, fingers of fresh, crusty country bread.

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  • aude

    ça donne des idées pour notre prochaine soirée entre voisins… reste à trouver de nouveaux voisins aussi chouettes que les vôtres !

  • Riet van der Sar

    I’m amazed about your site, fantastic. Just this season I grew 85 zuchhini from 8 plants and I was looking for recipes. thx.

  • mathew

    Cilantro doesn’t taste soapy to me, but it certainly tastes like something else…

    What about the dessert?

  • Jay

    I’ll try this one tomorrow, Cilantro is fine with me. Thanks!

  • mercotte

    After this fresh appetizer, I’m just curious about the dessert !!
    You are lucky to find such nice neighbors !
    gourmands et gourmets !!

  • Vincent

    For the English reading this site and that do not know what “cilantro” is (a lot of them don’t!), that’s the american word for what the brits call “coriander”!

  • suzy

    Congratulations on the lovely new neighbors. I find myself wondering about how Stephan made his loubia and couscous! Can you help?
    Wonderful blog, Clotilde.

  • victoria

    So, you have charming soirees, lovely friends, and delectable, interesting meals? Yeah, well, I just billed nine hours. So there!

  • Patrick

    Clotilde, you have somehow managed to reach a perfect self-sustaining state : you’ll never run out of friends as long as you don’t run out of food… and you’ll never run out of food as long as you don’t run out of friends !

  • Lady Amalthea

    I’m not a fan of cilantro, but I do like coriander a lot. I think this may be good with some coriander seeds mixed in with the parsley? Anyway, it sounds fresh and cooling. Thanks!

  • Alex

    Almathea – it doesn’t make a great deal of sense to say you don’t like cilantro, but like coriander, as they’re the same thing. Cilantro is just what they call it in the US. I don’t know if any other country uses that terminology. As far as I know, the rest of the world uses coriander (just like metric temperatures! ;-) )

  • clotilde

    So. Just to clarify, here’s my understanding:
    – In US English: “cilantro” is the herb, while “coriander” is used for the seeds.
    – In British English: “coriander” is the herb, “coriander seed” is, well, the seed.
    – In French: “coriandre” is the herb, “graine de coriandre” is the seed.

  • Niki

    Clothilde; yep, I think you’ve hit it on the head there, and adressed a common linguistic confusion between countries. Thank you.
    Just one point; perhaps it’s better to use ‘Anglo English’ or some such term (any suggestions?) rather than ‘British English’, as those of us here in Australia and New Zealand really don’t consider ourselves ‘British English’ speakers, despite the majority of our cooking terminologies coming from there rather than the US.
    (although, we do say zucchini here in Australia, rather than the British term courgette. That’s what’ll happen when the culture of a country develops organically!)

  • Barb

    My husband and I love your blog. It is so descriptive and interesting. We were in Paris in 2000, rented a car, drove down to Marseilles (had fabulous Boullabaisse) via Reims, Lyon, Provence, et al and can’t wait to go back. We live about 45 minutes north of Miami and would love to either meet you for a drink or have you over. Please email if you are available and/or interested.

  • Rhonda

    okay now I am very Canada cilantro and coriander are 2 separate herbs.. as I understand… cilantro…which reminds me of celery is similar to parsley..however coriander.. which is used alot in Thai and Mexican recipes is very distinct..nnot really what I would call refreshing.. so you must be thinking of cilantro…

  • Cara

    Coriander, cilantro, chinese parsley … people all seem to have a different name for them! I made a slightly altered recipe of this with thick yogurt, mint, cilantro, ginger and shallots. I then used it as a sauce for thai rare beef wrapped in cucumber slices. Mmmmm …..

  • chicnourriture

    Rhonda – I, too, am in Canada and cilantro, chinese parsley and cilantro are all the same thing. It is used in Mexican, Indian and Thai/Vietnamese cooking. It is a strong herb when used fresh …

  • sam

    Love this recipe…will try it for lunch today! thanks :)

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