Garlicky tvorog with walnuts and herbs

The holiday season is definitely upon us. How many parties have you attended so far? I swear this December has been the busiest December of my life. I’ve had parties/events/friend meet-ups almost every night. Busy bee.

This past Saturday my husband and I had yet another holiday/ugly sweater party to attend. This of course gives me the excuse to whip something up that I normally would not like hanging around my house, like a new cookie recipe or a party-sized appetizer. This recipe is for the latter.

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As I mentioned in my sirniki post, tvorog is an extremely common ingredient in Russian cooking. I actually haven’t had it in years (until last week) because I had no idea that farmer’s cheese is such a close (and widely available) substitute. If you’ve never had farmer’s cheese, it’s kind of a cross between whipped cottage cheese and ricotta – it’s smooth and slightly tangy. A bite brings me straight back to childhood. Give it a try!

The garlicky tvorog recipe once again came from the Please To The Table cookbook, but upon tasting it I realized that my mom actually made something extremely similar and filled profiterole-type pastries with this spread (I actually served those guys at my last New Year’s Eve party, if you’re looking for a visual Winking smile). This spread is creamy and well, garlicky (ha!) and it could be a fun appetizer for the next holiday party you’re hosting (or going to). I made a double batch for the party on Saturday and it was gone by the end of the night! Smile

Here is how you do it…

Ingredients (makes a party-sized batch)

  • 16oz farmer’s cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2T of fresh dill
  • 2t dried parsley (or 2T of fresh)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

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1. Process cheese, finely chopped walnuts (if using) and yogurt in the food processor until creamy.

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2. Transfer to a small bowl. Mix in minced garlic, herbs and salt and pepper, to taste.

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4. Refrigerate for 4 hours (it will slightly harden and hold it shape better).

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5. Flip into a serving platter.

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6. Coat with coarsely chopped walnuts.

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Serve with pita chips. It’ party time! Party smile

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Note: I couldn’t taste the finely processed walnuts at all. They may add slight body to this dip but I have a feeling they could be left out without compromising on taste. The coarsely chopped walnuts on top add a nice crunchy contrast to the smooth cheese.

This cat agreed. He watched the coffee table at the party all night to sneak a little bite (which he succeeded at right at the end) Winking smile

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Other party pics… I had my camera so I couldn’t really help myself.

There were sweets…

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And a Yankee swap. Things got pretty nasty. 😆

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I was *this* close to stealing the Bacon vs. Tofu action figures. Hahaha

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Good times!

Are you hosting any parties in the upcoming weeks? Do you have a go-to appetizer you like to serve?

14 comments to Garlicky tvorog with walnuts and herbs

  • Although I have never heard of it before, I love all the ingredients and I think I will have to give it a try! I am at home with my parents now in OH, and I bet my mom would love this (she loves garlic, dill, cheese…well everything in this, ha!). Thanks so much for sharing, and glad to hear you having such a happy and busy holiday! :)

  • […] and are looking for a delicious recipe from me, head over to Russian Bites and check out my post on garlicky tvorog with walnuts and herbs. It was a big hit at Saturday’s holiday […]

  • Cheese & nuts? I’m in ;).

    My go-to party app is stuffed dates. You can whip them up in no time, let them hang out until the party, are easy to eat, you can make all sorts of different variations, and best of all they taste fantastic!

    Looks like you enjoyed a fun party… although I’m wondering how the heck the owners of that cat were successful in putting that santa hood on it – neither of our pets can stand any kind of clothing! The Yankee swap sounds like a blast. I’ve never been to one, but kind of want to.

  • Sounds like a great party appetizer… most things with cheese are. :) And I love the plate you served it on.

  • This looks yummy! We will have to have a video blog post sometime so we can learn how to say some of these recipe names! :)
    That poor cat! My cats would not last a second in clothing! He looks really cute.

  • You’ve been cooking with farmer’s cheese so much lady that you really ought to start making your own!

  • This really is a gorgeous savoury to try, thanks for the recipe, I love it.

  • Denise

    I was wondering what farmers cheese is? I live in Canada but am originally from Ireland and although I adore all cheeses I have never heard of farmers cheese. I love your recipes and chicken Kiev is very popular in the uk and northern Ireland but is considered very 80’s!!! I make it with frozen garlic butter stuffed in chicken breasts and then coated in home made breadcrumbs and baked in the oven instead of deep fried. A healthy version but just as yummy..

  • Fun pictures!! All my holiday parties are over, and now I just have Christmas eve and Christmas day dinners.

  • oh wow, what a fun time! love the festive kitty :) this dip sounds awesome, as well!

  • I have never heard of this before either – but I’m so intrigued! I love everything in it, so I imagine that its amazing. I love how you’re opening me up to a whole new world of food/recipes!!

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