This Benedictine spread with cucumber can be used as a dip or a sandwich and canape topping. It was created by Jennie Carter Benedict, a cookbook author, caterer, and restaurateur. She operated a Louisville restaurant and tea room, Benedict's, in the early 20th century. It's a simple combination of cucumber, onion, and other ingredients, and it is an excellent appetizer to serve a Kentucky Derby gathering.
Some versions are made green with spinach or parsley, and some use green food coloring to get the vivid green color. The original recipe uses 3 tablespoons of cucumber juice and 1 tablespoon of onion juice instead of grated cucumber and onion, and it includes a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- 1 large cucumber
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons grated sweet or yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- dash green food coloring (optional)
Peel the cucumber and scrape out the seeds. Grate the cucumber coarsely. Put the grated cucumber in the bowl of a food processor with the cream cheese, grated onion, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Pulse until smooth. Add a drop or two of green food coloring to get a vivid green color. Alternatively, mix the ingredients with an electric mixer.
Spread on sandwich bread or use it for canapes.
Thin with sour cream to make a dip for vegetables.
Makes about 2 cups
Tips and Variations
- Flavor the dip with about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh dill.
- Use minced green onions instead of sweet or yellow onions.
- Add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
- Add a few tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley to the food processor with the cream cheese and cucumber.