Setting out to share my pimiento cheese recipe, I realized there is actually a widespread debate surrounding the spelling of the word “pimiento”. Spelled with two i’s, or just one as in “pimento”? Turning to Google to verify that I wasn’t spelling it wrong, I immediately found this article from Southern Living.
Turns out Southern Living chooses to spell it with a second “i”, and if it’s good enough for Southern Living, it’s good enough for me.
Spelling debate aside, there are a few points to note about this recipe. If you have the time, freshly grating the cheese yourself definitely gives a better texture. In a slight rebellion to the proper Southern way, I do use pre-grated cheese on many occasions and it’s completely fine. Two things to keep in mind if you’re going to use pre-grated cheese: make sure to use a good quality brand, like Tillamook; and use a mix of finely shredded and coarsely shredded cheese. Varying the coarseness of cheese shreds is really essential to keeping the pimiento cheese from taking on the consistency of peanut butter. While we are on the subject of texture, you have the option of adding pecans, if you like. Toasting the pecans before adding them is key. This prevents them getting soft in the mixture, but also to bring out more flavor from the pecans.
Pimiento cheese is great between two slices of white bread, of course. I also love eating it on pecan Nut Thins and celery sticks, or using it as a dip with tortilla chips. Melted in a grilled cheese is especially delicious, too.
- 4 oz diced pimento drained
- 1.5 cups mayonnaise
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded
- 8 oz mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans optional
In a large bowl, mix together diced pimientos, mayonnaise, spices, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until throughly combined.
Add the cheese, stirring again until well combined.
Cover and chill at least 20 minutes before serving.