Until I took my wife home to South Carolina, she had never heard of pimiento cheese. I marched her straight into Magnolia’s to meet my friend Chef Donald Barickman and to get an order of pimiento cheese with flatbread. She is now such a loyal devotee of this dish that my dad served grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches at her baby shower.

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup diced pimiento
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup pecans, crushed
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish
  • Crackers (Ritz are the traditional partner for pimiento cheese)
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into spears
  • 2 cups halved radishes
  • 1 head fennel, sliced

Method

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cheddar, pimiento, mayonnaise, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix on low speed until just combined. Season with cayenne.

Scrape the pimiento cheese into a serving bowl and top with the pecans and sprigs of parsley. Place the bowl on a large platter and surround with the crackers, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes.

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