Black and Blue Dip

black and blue dipI have been working on this recipe for the last year or so and I finally feel like it is ready for prime time. I served it this past week at a party and it was a huge hit.

Everyone in my crowd goes crazy for my mother’s Pimento Cheese Spread. So I initially created this companion recipe to work along side her pimento for a buffet supper. Recently I have had success serving this dip during the cocktail hour of a dinner party. The crunch of the almonds, along with the earthy flavor of of the olive/blue cheese combo, works especially well with champagne and the stand-by vodka sodas everyone seems to drink.

I serve this dip with a hearty crackers like the wheat water crackers shown.  It also works well with radishes, carrots or celery. I prefer Maytag Blue Cheese (readily available at most Whole Foods and good specialty grocery stores) because I feel it has the perfect balance of bite and creaminess.  This dip works best when left a room temp for about 15 minutes before serving – allowing the butter to soften a bit.  It also tastes (and looks) great with a heavy shake of Crystal hot sauce as a topper.

Black and Blue Dip

3/4 cup almond slivers
8 ounce wedge medium bodied blue cheese – like Maytag
6 TBS unsalted butter – softened
3/4 Cup good mayonnaise
2 small cans (2.25 oz) sliced black olives
1 TSP Worcestershire  sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper

Place almonds on a baking sheet and broil in an oven or toaster-oven for about 3 minutes – constantly watching and sporadically shaking them until they are uniformly golden in color.  Remove from pan and place on a large cutting board.  Roughly chop the nuts until they form a large crumb like mixture.

Rinse the black olives and blot dry with a paper towels.  Roughly chop the olives into slightly smaller pieces – do not mince.

Grate the blue cheese into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce and stir until well combined.  Fold in almonds and olives until just combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with vegetables and/or hearty crackers. The dip be prepared in advance, packed into a crock or container, and refrigerated. However let the dips soften a bit at room temp before serving.