Disclosure: The California Avocado Commission compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest. We are therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. My thoughts and opinions are my own, especially the one about my long-time love for avocados!
Now that we’ve been living ‘Down South” for about eight months, I thought it about time I perfected my Pimento Cheese.
Being from ‘The West,’ I’d never even heard of this creamy, cheesy dip made of all ingredients indulgent until I met this Southern Belle. I guess the western version of a ubiquitous dip is French Onion Dip. But I was more fond of my Grandma’s Crab & Cream Cheese Dip similar to this healthier version, which she served for all her card parties and family holidays.
But we now live in southern Illinois, actually just north of St. Louis; but the funny thing is, the folks around here sound and cook more ‘southern’ than do our friends south in St. Louis. Thus my urge to perfect a dip my new ‘Southern’ friends would enjoy.
So when California Avocados offered this fun challenge to The Recipe ReDux to create a dish for summer get-togethers, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to play around with a Pimento Cheese recipe….to make it a little less, umm… indulgent, but still creamy and dreamy. Here’s why I knew it would work: Salty cheese and avocado are made for each other! (Who hasn’t eaten an avocado with a spoon straight out of its skin with just a sprinkle of salt? Yum!) Plus the creamy texture of nutrient-rich avocados is the perfect substitution for mayonnaise in almost any salad or dip recipe.
Here’s what I did to switch up the classic Pimento Cheese recipe.
- Replace the majority of the mayonnaise with avocado – but instead of mashing it, I diced it to keep the entire dip from turning un-traditionally green!
- Mix in less, but a good quality sharp Cheddar cheese.
- Add a little lemon juice to make the flavors sing – and keep the avocado from turning brown
- In an effort to keep this recipe somewhat ‘authentic’ I resisted the urge to add any of the fresh herbs I have coming out of my ears. (But cilantro would be delicious in this dip.)
- Served it with veggie crudité (fresh green beans) along with traditional crackers.
Avocado Pimento Cheese
In this simple Southern dip creamy avocado replaces some of the mayonnaise in traditional pimento cheese to delicious results.
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 ripe avocado, skin and pit removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded good-quality sharp cheddar cheese (could use reduced-fat)
- 2 ounces bottled pimento or roasted red pepper, drained
- For serving: Fresh veggie crudité, whole grain crackers
- Drizzle lemon juice over avocado and toss; set aside.
- Combine mayonnaise, garlic, and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Mix in cheese, bottled red pepper, and reserved chopped avocado.
What’s your favorite way to make Pimento Cheese? Is it ‘just’ a Southern recipe?