Cucumber Flowers with Herbed Cream Cheese

Cucumber Flowers with Herbed Cream Cheese, garnished with carrots and chives

Cucumber Flowers with Herbed Cream Cheese, garnished with carrots and chives

These are beautiful appetizers, lovely on a buffet or table; they taste just as good as they look.  A dressed-up alternative to herb dip and crudites, these are simple to prep, and a great way to get everyone to eat their raw veggies!  Makes about 30

1 Medium English cucumber, washed and dried

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 Tablespoons sour cream

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon fresh chives, sliced very fine

1 teaspoon finely-minced cilantro

1 teaspoon finely-minced fresh dill

2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

Carrot or radish, sliced paper thin

Fresh chives or herb of your choice

Slice the cucumber on a mandolin or with a knife 1/4" thick.  Place the slices on a sheet of paper towel and pat dry with another paper towel.  Use a small flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut the cucumber slices into flower shapes.  Place on a serving platter, or a sheet pan if serving later.

Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until light; add the sour cream and mayo and beat until well combined.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat until very smooth. 

Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip, or a plastic freezer back with one corner snipped off with the cream cheese mixture.  Squeeze a dollop onto each cucumber slice.  Cut the carrot or radish slices in half or quarter, and arrange a piece on the cheese.  Cut the chives or herbs into small lengths or pieces and add to the flowers in a manner that appeals to you. 

Serve immediately, or carefully cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate.  Serve within 8 hours.

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