Olive-Red Pepper Cream Cheese is a herb-sprinkled appetizer spread with endless possibilities for flavor and presentation combinations.
The nutty, mellow flavor of black olives joins cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, crushed red pepper, basil, tarragon and thyme. Spicy food lovers may want to increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes for a little more heat.
This spread is best when made in advance, at least two hours before serving, to allow the flavors to mingle. Then, spread generously on fresh vegetables such as carrot or zucchini slices, endive leaves, red or green pepper strips, artichoke leaves. Scoop into big pasta shells that have been cooked and chilled, wrap marinated grape leaves around this creamy concoction or serve with sesame bread sticks for dipping. The possibilities are endless.
OLIVE-RED PEPPER CREAM CHEESE
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped black olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed