Adapted from Joy of Cooking , the latest edition. I changed a few things based on family recipes.
The basic recipe (can be doubled):
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated; and 1/2 medium onion, chopped. Squeeze out the excess water. (this is very important! You don't want the spread to be too wet.) Put in a food processor with 8 ounces of softened cream cheese. Blend until fluffy. Salt to taste. I add two tablespoons of mayonnaise to make it smoother. Some recipes call for sour cream instead.
Joy of Cooking suggests using a dab of green food coloring to give the spread its trademark color, but it's also a good idea to use finely chopped parsley or frozen spinach (about one tablespoon of either). The color is more natural and adds a little flavor.
Serve on thin sandwich bread or crackers. A little bacon with the spread makes a very good sandwich!
Named for Jennie Benedict, a Louisville, KY caterer who first made it back in the early 20th Century. It is a traditional tea sandwich for Kentucky Derby parties as well as wedding receptions. There's an old joke that a Louisville bride isn't properly married unless Benedictine sandwiches have been served at her reception! My mom, aunts, and sister all had them for their weddings. It's perfect for summer.
Make some mint juleps and enjoy these while watching the Derby!