I am always looking for ways to use up the summer bounty of produce and here’s another one. Benedictine is a Kentucky staple, but little known outside of the state. Now, this culinary creation has nothing to do with the good monks who make wine and bread in the basements of their monasteries, but was invented by Jenny Benedict (thus the name) around the turn of the 20th century. Jenny started a tearoom on downtown Louisville’s South Fourth Street in 1911. Her recipe was cream cheese, cucumber juice, onion juice and salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne, and a couple of drops of green dye. It became and still is an institution in Louisville, where, I am told, they spread it on everything.
Lilly’s restaurant in Louisville serves an updated version of the recipe which features the crunch of cumbers and onions, rather than just the juice. Here is my version of the recipe with a couple modifications to bring out the flavor of the cucumbers, a feature of my summer garden.