Jason Alley’s Pimento Cheese
- 15 minutes Prep
- 6 to 8 Servings
1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Serve with crackers, crudites, pickles, and good country ham.
If you’re from the south, you probably have at least three pimento cheese recipes that you can eagerly pull out of your recipe box at any mention of a cookout or potluck. From the tattered recipe card that preserves your grandmother’s no-frills, potluck-ready pimento cheese to a magazine clipping that features an up-and-coming chef’s trendy, updated take on the classic spread, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pimento cheese that isn’t a crowd-pleaser. Chef Jason Alley of Comfort and Pasture in Richmond, Virginia is known for his pimento cheese recipe, demonstrating how much his love for the spread has evolved from its humble beginnings. When pressed, he bashfully admits that during his childhood years, his favorite pimento cheese was of the store-bought, processed variety. No matter what the recipe, all of the best pimento cheeses share key commonalities: pimentos, grated cheeses, and – of course – Duke’s Mayonnaise.
While Chef Alley still enjoys the simple pimento cheese he grew up on, his palate has since evolved to crave more complex versions of the spread. He occasionally whips up gourmet pimento cheeses, like a spicy pimento goat cheese with honey that Alley rotates as a special at his Richmond restaurant Pasture. Alley’s most popular pimento cheese by far is this recipe, a riff on the classic, simple spread he remembers from childhood. His updated take is thoughtful yet succinct: freshly grated sharp cheddar, jarred pimentos, a shallot, tarragon, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. A generous dollop of Duke’s brings the flavors together and gives the spread a delectable, creamy texture. From the tang of the cheeses to the sweet bite of pimentos to the kick of the hot sauce, it’s no wonder Alley’s recipe is hailed as the best pimento cheese in Richmond.
For other takes on pimento cheese, try: