March 28, 2011

Anti-recipes: Homemade Pimento Cheese


I’ll never forget the first time I ate pimento cheese…and liked it. Oh I’d had it plenty of times while I was growing up, but considered it slimy and gross. Maybe it was how it looked in those little deli tubs it came in. Maybe it was the consistency. I just assumed it was one of those things I would force myself to eat (as a good southern girl).


Then I attended the art show of a precious family friend where pimento cheese sandwiches (among other things) were served as refreshments. Specifically homemade pimento cheese on white bread, cut into triangles. I think I heard an angel chorus when I took that first bite. How had I never attempted homemade pimento cheese? I just couldn’t see how it would be that much better than store-bought. Dear little naïve me, I had so much to learn.


Now I make it at least every other week or so. I also like to pronounce it puh-men-nah just in case you were wondering. There’s really no recipe…I just add things as I go. It helps if you have your granny’s vintage pyrex dish (with lid), but any container will do.

Homemade Pimento Cheese

  • 1 block of extra sharp cheddar (grated finely) Do NOT use pre-shredded cheese! It’s coated in something weird and you’ll be sorry.
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise (the good stuff)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of chopped pimentos plus a little juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Onion salt, Coarse black pepper, and red pepper (a few shakes of each to your liking)

Now stir everything together and you’re good to go. I like to mash mine until it becomes more of a paste. Eat it alone on crackers or bread or use it to make grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. Add bacon if you’re really daring! Enjoy! Posted by Kate Spears