appetizers + hors d'oeuvres,  cheese,  dips,  gluten free,  party food + snacks,  vegetarian

Hand-Crafted Gournay

If provincial northwestern France had a flavor, it would be buttery + herbaceous Gournay.

You have probably bought creamy + salty + garlicky + herby artisan Gournay cheese dozens of times without giving thought to how easy it is to create yourself. No need to run to the store to make this oh-so satisfying + fragrant snacking cheese. I’d bet you already have the ingredients for this blend at your fingertips!    

  • Herbs? Check!
  • Garlic? Check!
  • Butter?  Check!
  • Cream cheese?  Check!

You got this!  

I’d also bet that once you create your own house blend of Gournay, you will have choice ingredients at your fingertips At.All.Times.Forever.Amen. Whether they are from patio pots or the market, showcase your favorite herbs in your own spin on Hand-Crafted Gournay. Use a lashing of herbs—dried or fresh or a combination. (The cream cheese can handle a lot—be fearless!) Make it light by omitting the butter or by using yogurt or yogurt cheese instead of the cream cheese; or make it richer by adding 3+ tablespoons Parmesan cheese, substituting Mascarpone cheese for half the cream cheese, and adding a drop or four of wine. This is your house blend. You do you.

As a matter of fact, my friend makes this recipe with a package of Italian seasoning. She says it is Awe.Some. Well, she doesn’t really say that. She syllabically mouths it. Her eyes close, her face histrionically tilts toward the heavens, her lips move but there is no discernible sound.
Too Awe.Some to actually whisper, I suppose. That mix is her Awe.Some. house blend.

This artisan-style cheese spread has the power to solve the universal what-am-I-going-to make? question. And that, my friend, is a super power.  Embrace it and go. This is one of those quintessentially perfect back-pocket recipes you will always be glad you have: you can make it on the fly, and you can schmear it on EVERYTHING:

  • a spread for breads such as pumpernickel + lox
  • a schmear on a baguette or crostini topped with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes or to dip in a bowl of tomato soup
  • a layer of flavor in this Toast 6+ Ways idea
  • a creamy base for sauteed mushrooms or as a stuffing for mushroom caps
  • a light dip for crackers or fresh + crunchy crudités
  • a delicious stuffing for sweet mini peppers or figs + honey
  • a richly flavored swirl in your risotto or any pasta dish you want to creamify
  • a melty + cheesy dollop to melt over baked chicken or stuff into breasts
  • a rich addition to gratineed potatoes
  • a creamy + flavorful layer in a burrito or a sandwich wrap

The key to making the most delicious + fragrant Gournay is to make it a day in advance. Allow time for the delicate flavors of herbs and the mild pungence of garlic to permeate the cream cheese, especially if using fresh herbs. If you are using dry herbs, rub them between your fingers or grind with a mortar and pestle before adding to bowl to release that potpourri of herbiness.

I prefer to mix everything by hand–maybe because it feels more rustic and authentic–but a food processor does a beautiful job. If you use a processor, grate or mince the garlic first. Then add the cheeses + butter + herbs + spices and process until creamy.

So let me clarify. The recipe below is my house blend-ish. It varies on any given day. Sometimes it is 4 ingredients. Sometimes 10, depending what is in the garden. Feel free to make substitutions depending on taste and refrigerator bounty.

It goes without saying you should serve your Hand-Crafted Gournay with a sparkling wine!

Bon appetit!


If you make this Hand-Crafted Gournay, I’d love to hear about it–especially what your house blend Gournay will be!  Leave a comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we celebrate together!

Hand-Crafted Gournay

  • 1 or 2 plump cloves of garlic, grated (or a head of green garlic)
  • 4 ounces of butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces of Neufchâtel or cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces feta cheese or goat cheese
  • 8-10 scant teaspoons minced herbs, such as (but not limited to) parsley, oregano, marjoram, tarragon, thyme, chives, sage
  • 1+ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • consider adding freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a few tablespoons of wine


Using a processor: process the garlic first; add the cheeses + butter + herbs + spices and process until creamy.

Mixing by hand: mince or grate or microplane the garlic and mince the herbs; add the cheese + butter + herbs + spices and process until creamy.

Store cheese spread in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

This recipe can easily be halved. Or make the full recipe and  freeze some. It keeps beautifully in the refrigerator for up to one month or the freezer for up to two years.

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