Virginia-Style Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento Cheese at Pasture in Richmond, Virginia
Pimento Cheese at Pasture / Photo by Kevin Clay

Courtesy Jason Alley, chef/partner, Pasture, Richmond, VA

Pimento cheese is common throughout the South, but few cities have such passion for it as Richmond. It’s as likely to be found in fine-dining establishments as dive bars. At Pasture, Jason Alley adds freshly roasted peppers and a welcome hint of tarragon to his pimento cheese recipe.

Richmond, Virginia’s Congenial, Modern Food and Drink Scene
  • 1½ pounds grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon (leaves only), minced
  • 1¼ cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade or Duke’s brand
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce, like Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. Serve with crackers, pickles and/or crudités.

Pair It

Barboursville Vineyards 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc (Virginia); $25, 90 points. An intense wine for an intense dish, the pairing brings to mind the classic coupling of cheddar cheese with fruit chutney. This Cabernet Franc starts off with dynamic aromas of red cherry, red plum, bramble, fig and incense. These scents translate to lovely flavors that are complex yet elegant, with ample crushed-velvet tannins that mesh harmoniously with racy acidity and a full body. Barboursville Vineyards is located just over an hour by car from Richmond.

Published on November 7, 2017
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.


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