Crunchy Veggie Cream Cheese
I’ve developed a weekly ritual where I trek down to a local bagel shop and work for a few hours just to get out of the house. I always order the exact same thing (so far) which is a bagel and their delicious crunchy veggie cream cheese.
Last week I probably weirded out some of the workers there by obsessively dissecting my cream cheese to figure out all the veggies that it included.
Yep. I reverse engineered cream cheese. And you should be glad that I did.
Adding a bunch of really crunchy vegetables to cream cheese just takes it to another level. Not to mention it makes it somewhat healthier.
1) Take your time grating or mincing veggies until they are evenly shaped and fairly small.
2) Mix in cream cheese. This will be a lot easier if your cream cheese is room temp.
3) Season with salt and pepper.
4) Schmear it!
Prepping the Veggies
Ideally, you want to end up with about 2-3 cups of very finely minced or grated veggies for this recipe. The above measurements are far from scientific and you should feel free to add more or less if you want.
This ratio worked great for me though. I thought it ended up with the perfect mix of veggies and cheese.
The fastest way to get the veggies to a nice even mince is to use a grater. I was being pretty lazy on this day and decided to try out my grater disc on my food processor. It worked pretty well except on the celery and scallions. Those I just diced by hand.
As you can imagine though, the most important thing for this recipe is just making sure your veggies are minced or grated super-fine.
So take your time and use the best tools you have to get the job done. Even a box grater would work great for this.
Here’s my finished veggies.
Mixing in Cream Cheese
Mixing in the cream cheese is really easy if you let it come to room temperature before you try mixing it. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a workout.
I, of course, forgot to take my out of the fridge so I had two hard blocks of cheese in my bowl.
The Secret Ingredient
Once you get everything mixed up, you can add the secret ingredient: LOTS of crushed black pepper.
It gets mixed in with the veggies and everything and just works beautifully.
Once everything is mixed together, you’ll have a nice and thick mixture. It’s creamy, but crunchy.
It looks a bit like a hot mess, but trust me. It’s good.
Of course, the first thing I did with my cream cheese is deploy the traditional schmear.
This is a quick and simple recipe that you can make it just a few minutes and it keeps fine for a week or two.
It really does take the standard bagel to another level and is vastly better than the veggie cream cheese that you can buy in the store.