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Cool Cucumber Benedictine Appetizer Recipe

Updated on May 6, 2014

A traditional recipe to snack on while watching the Kentucky Derby!

My mother-in-law used to make Benedictine Dill Dip for my husband whenever we visited her in Louisville. We loved visiting this city around the first weekend in May when the Kentucky Derby traditionally occurs. The recipe I share with you on this page is based on one I found in a Kentucky Derby Museum cookbook that is loaded with award winning recipes that are associated with this annual event.

Keep scrolling down to find the recipe for Benedictine that is a favorite in my home. My friends also love the creamy, light recipe when we get together to chat.

All images belong to me, Mickie_G unless otherwise stated. Use with attribution, please. Mickie_G

Traditional Kentucky Derby Recipes

Benedictine Cucumber Dill Spread/Dip is only one of many.

Besides being the home for the original Benedictine Recipe, the museum's cookbook contains a great recipe for the Kentucky Derby Museum Pie. A few of the ingredients in this famous pie are real Kentucky bourbon and one whole cup each of chocolate chips and pecans. If you like chocolate, you will love this traditional dessert any time of the year.

Another famous Kentucky recipe that is enjoyed at the Derby Parties around the state is Kentucky Burgoo. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until I married my Kentucky born husband. According to the museum's cookbook, Burgoo is "a peppery porridge originated in the mid-eighteenth century as the main meal on British ships." It was developed in America and became associated with Kentucky where it was made thicker by the addition of various meats. Here are the meats found in Kentucky Burgoo: a fat hen, beef, veal and or lamb stew meat.

Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook-- - for some it is their Bible of cookbooks!

I own a first edition of this spiral bound cookbook. It contains historical photos of the Derby as well as mouthwatering images of many of the recipes. The proceeds from the original sale of the cookbook were used to support The Kentucky Derby Museum, a not-profit organization, dedicated to the preservation of the history and traditions of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred Racing.

The Kentucky Derby Museum Heart Healty Cook Book: A Horse Sense Guide to Smart Cooking
The Kentucky Derby Museum Heart Healty Cook Book: A Horse Sense Guide to Smart Cooking

This book contains the original recipe for Benedictine plus hundreds of traditional Kentucky recipes.

 
Benedictine on a cracker with a cucumber slice--yum!
Benedictine on a cracker with a cucumber slice--yum!

I made my cucumber spread/dip following the traditional recipe found in the official cookbook above. I adapted it for my husband who just insisted that there was dill in the Benedictine dip his mother made for him on Derby Day.

I use fresh dill to garnish the Benedictine if I have some on hand. It is difficult to grow dill in the southern USA because the dill season is so short--if we have one at all. Dill requires cool temperatures.

  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: yeild: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber
  • peeled
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 2 -3 drops green food color
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (optional)
  • (1/2 tsp of fresh dill)

Instructions

  1. Grate cucumber and onion. (I like to have 1 cup total of these two ingredients). You may use a food processor to grate these two ingredients. Drain well in a strainer, pressing down with a spoon (I use a bowl--see photo below) to remove all liquid. Discard liquid. Add drained cucumber and onion mixture and dried or fresh dill weed to cream cheese and mix well in food processor. Taste the spread to see if you might need more dill--it just depends on your fondness for this herb. Color with a few drops of the green food coloring. Use as a sandwich spread or as a dip. I like it on crackers with a slice of cucumber as seen in the image.
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Classic Wire Strainer - find a new version to buy for your kitchen on Amazon.

The wire strainer you see in my photo on this page is at least 12 years old--but it is still very useable. Buy good quality utensils and they will last a lifetime. I like the size because it can fit over a cooking pot, a mixing bowl or my small sink compartment. It can be used to drain pasta, rice or vegetables. It is the medium size of the set of three that I have in my kitchen. Yep, a great all-purpose tool for every cook.

Cuisinart Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers, CTG-00-3MS
Cuisinart Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers, CTG-00-3MS

I love having strainers in 3 sizes. These Cuisinart ones look so modern and I can already see that they would get a lot of use in my house.

 
Farberware Classic Wire Strainer Basket
Farberware Classic Wire Strainer Basket

A very handy wire basket to have. The feet will keep it steady on a counter top. Can't you just picture your fresh washed cherries in this handy kitchen tool?

 

Tasty Trivia

Benedictine is a spread made famous by Miss Jennie Benedict, a Louisville caterer and restauranteur during the early 20th century.

Benedictine Spread or Dip - Served in a glass bowl

One can garnish the Benedictine with thinly sliced cucumbers. I usually use my mandoline slicer for this slicing task.

3 Ingredients to Benedictine

Basically all one needs to make Benedictine Spread/Dip is cucumber, onion and cream cheese. Three ingredients! Easy appetizer for a Derby Party, Bridal Shower or an afternoon Tea Party.

The middle photo is of the drained cucumber onion mixture. I used a coffee filter inside a wire strainer to help absorb the liquid before I mixed it with the cream cheese. No one likes a runny spread.

FYI: collage created at www.picmonkey.com

This cucumber spread/dip is so very easy to make. It is ideal in the summer when you might be covered in cukes from your garden. I consider it a very refreshing, cool appetizer for a barbeque--especially when you use cucumber slices to dip into this spread. Carrots would be another dipper option as well.

Be a cool customer and tell me what you think of this Benedictine recipe:

Is this a dilly of a dip? - Tell me what you think, please.

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    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @ecogranny: Dried, if no fresh dill is handy. I just put the dill in "to taste"--whatever you think tastes good.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      P.S. I meant to ask, is it one teaspoon fresh dill or dried?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      It looks absolutely delicious. We like something very similar made with yogurt, and I can imagine this would be all the richer and yummier with cream cheese. Thank you for the recipe, and thank you for the stories too. I love to know of the traditions, both the personal and the historical, that go with old-time recipes.