Food & dining

Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for Southern pimento cheese

Katherine Hysmith for The Boston Globe

Makes about 1½ cups

Traditionally made with mayonnaise, this spread is a staple at spring picnics, church events, and family gatherings throughout the South. Despite its simplicity, each family has its own way to prepare this recipe, and often won’t divulge the seasoning combinations. With only four main ingredients and swapping the mayo for lighter, tangier yogurt, this version of pimento cheese is easy to prepare and full of flavor (try playing with more intense extra-sharp cheddar varieties, too).

2cups shredded sharp cheddar
¼cup pimentos, drained and finely chopped
¼cup plain unflavored
yogurt (not Greek)
½teaspoon ground white pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine the cheese and pimentos until the red peppers are evenly distributed. Add the yogurt and use a fork to mix it in; the tines will help break up any large pieces of cheese.

2. Sprinkle the white pepper over the cheese mixture and stir well. Add salt and black pepper and transfer to a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Let the cheese come close to room temperature before serving with crackers or toast points.
Katherine Hysmith