All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

homemade boursin

Back in the 90's, I came across this wonderful paperback cookbook, called Picnic.  In this marvelous little book, I found a recipe for boursin - a rich, sparkling herb cheese, loaded with flavor - garlic, tarragon, chives or scallions, sweet butter, cream cheese.  At the time, I had a huge herb garden, and anything herb snagged my attention.  So I tried it.

Wooooo.  That was some recipe!  I have made it over and over, mostly in the summer and why I do not know, because it's amazing anytime of the year.  In the winter, I might stir it into a sauce, mash it into baked potatoes, or add just a wee bit to a nice spinach soup or melting on top of a nice poached fish or broiled steak.

In the summer - it's a dip with fresh summer vegetables from the garden - especially sugar snap peas or extravagant sandwiches.  Winner.

When you keep it in the fridge and then quickly pile it into a ramekin for dips, it tends to be a bit cold and flaky, but if you let it sit, it becomes creamy and very spreadable.

I once actually bought boursin at a supermarket, and was shocked that it was so ...well, fluffy and bland.  This boursin is nothing like that, but smooth and loaded with flavor.

To make 1 1/2 cups of boursin:

8 ounces soft cream cheese
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 - to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. dry mustard (I use 1 t. Dijon prepared mustard)
2 T. minced fresh parsley ( I use flat leaf)
1 T. minced fresh chives or scallion greens
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, which has a stronger taste
1 minced or smashed garlic clove
salt to taste - I use kosher salt

She suggests putting it in a food processor, but I use a mixer.  it comes out quite green if you use a food processor.

Place ingredients in a food processor or mixer and whiz or mix.  Taste and add salt as needed.

Keep in fridge until ready to use.  Let it warm to room temperature if you so desire.


La Table De Nana said...

Hi Katrina..thanks for the tip about the mixer:-)
I have everything:-)
Will make soon.
Looks and sounds perfect.
The other is airy and dry and crumbly.
Spot on.

katrina said...

Oh, Nana - you will love it!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Kat,
Oh, I used to LOVE Boursin when I was a kid, but I bet this tastes a thousand times better - and probably costs a lot less too. Those teeny little containers are pricey. :)

Have you ever made it without the tarragon? Any ideas of what herb to use instead? I have tons of basil in the garden but am thinking that might be a little overpowering.

katrina said...

Oh, no Susan - don't tell me you hate tarragon?! It's what makes this homemade cheese great, so no, no ideas what else you could use. I do use dried tarragon, which I find both stronger and tastier than fresh. Hmmm. No clue. Thyme?

This boursin is so silky and smooth and exploding with flavor - that commercial boursin is dreadful! Best of luck to you!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Ha, I was afraid you would say that. I was actually going to email you so I didn't have to ask publicly. ;)

I must like tarragon at least a little because I used to like the commercial Boursin. Tried to grow it once but failed dismally. I just don't have any and no access to any 'fresh' dried so figured I'd ask. :)

Barb said...

I'm not sure I've ever tried Boursin but I am definitely going to try this. You have probably ruined me for 'store bought' - and that's a good thing:-)

p.s. it has cooled off around here beautifully and I am so grateful. How 'bout you? Cooler temps?

katrina said...

Susan, here's what I think you should do. Pick up some dried tarragon at the store and use 1/2 teaspoon instead of 1 tsp. That should work out ok, I think. Or -hmmmm, what about arugula? That has a nice sharp flavor - I'd say about 2 T. minced?

katrina said...

Oh, Barb - I think you'll like it! And yes, today was muggy and warm, but tonight is really lovely and cooler. FINALLY.

diary of a tomato said...

Brilliant, can't wait to try and so much better than the industrial version!

katrina said...

Dear Diary - Ouff - I bought the industrial version once and it was awful! Perhaps I was spoiled by this wonderful "homemade".

Kate said...

Hi Katrina.
I've made boursin for years and you and the other commenters are right on all counts... better flavor making it yourself, less expensive than store bought and the herb varieties are endless. Farmgirl Susan will be happy to know I have never put tarragon into my mix because so many of my friends don't like it. I use dried oregano, basil, dillweed, marjoram, thyme and blk. pepper for a good result. Fresh herbs are even better and the flavor varies according to whatever is around.

Kelci Hedrick said...

I just made a half-batch of this (I had a half a block of cream cheese left over from a previous recipe) and YUM. Homemade boursin is a game changer! I didn't have any parsley on hand, but I had some insanely flavorful celery leaves, so I swapped those in instead.

katrina said...

Ooops - missed your comment, Kate. I find it hilarious that one of my favorite people (Susan) loathes tarragon:) I adore it, so it mystifies me when someone recoils when I mention it -it;s very kind of you to leave it out for them. Yes, the butter and cream cheese picks up herby flavors beautifully!

katrina said...

Oh Kelci - fresh summer celery leaves sound delicious! I use them a lot these days, since I learned to just plant the bottom of the celery in the garden. It grows fairly slowly, but so nice to have fresh leaves anytime.