Cream Cheese and Nigella Seed Spread

June 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

One of the flavors I associate strongly with home is that of the lightly-pungent nigella seed, which back there was habitually scattered over breads and other savory baked goods, as well as mixed into the traditional soft cheese called “shor.” Made (I believe) out of real buttermilk (the by-product of making butter, as opposed to the whole-milk buttermilk you’d be buying in a store), this salty, tangy, spreadable cheese is awfully close to both failed-yogurt ricotta (that is, if you salt it) and the amazing homemade Neuchatel I’ve now been making for several months One thing was missing though – namely, the familiar touch of nigella. Needless to say this sorry situation needed to be corrected.

Now nigella, also known as black onion seed, can be purchased, among other places, on Amazon, which is where I got mine. It is wonderful sprinkled on top of flatbreads and even the somewhat less-exotic no-knead bread that I make almost daily, and it goes so very beautifully with cream cheese, adding just the slightest texture and crunch (as the seeds themselves are rather tender).

nigella1

Note that I used twice this amount of seeds for the amount of cheese shown.

nigella2

Then I just mixed (mashed) them in with a fork…

nigella3

And spread the whole thing on top of the said no-knead bread. As soon as I did this, I was, after over seven years, transported back to a different time and place – the place of my birth. Try it yourself for a low-budget magic-carpet ride.

Note: back home, shor would normally be spread on thin sheets of lavash, one of the traditional flatbreads, which was then rolled, burrito-style, into a tube to be consumed without further ado.

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