Indian Spiced Fromage Blanc Spread

Serves 4-6

1 lb Fromage Blanc (California's Cowgirl Creamery makes an excellent one)

For the Green Chutney:
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeno or other favorite green chilli, stem and seeds removed
1 cup parsley, large stems removed
1 cup cilantro, large stems removed
1 cup mint, large stems removed
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
1/4 onion, chopped finely
Salt and sugar to taste

For the popping seeds topping:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seed (black onion seed)
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds (ordinary mustard seeds)

Spoon the fromage blanc into a bowl, stir it to loosen it, then cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Prepare the Green Chutney: In a food processor whirl the garlic with the chilli, then add the parsley, cilantro, and mint. When it is all a finely chopped light mixture, add the lime juice and onion and whirl until it is a liquid mixture. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Chill until ready to serve. May be made up to 2-3 hours ahead, but do prepare it on the day as it will lose flavour and freshness the longer it sits.

Make the crisp toasted seeds: In a small saute pan with a tight fitting lid, warm the oil with the spices. Raise the heat to moderate, swirling the pan gently to cook the spices evenly. When the spices begin to pop, cover the pan and continue to cook and swirl for another 30 seconds.

When the popping stops, remove the lid and spoon the spices and their flavored oil over the cheese then drizzle with the green chutney.

Serve with thin crisp rounds of baguette (slice thinly, brush with olive oil, bake in a 400°F oven for about ten minutes turning once or twice).

Recipe from Marlena Spieler


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