Beyond Bread and Butter- Spreads

Anyone have anything they put on their breads besides butter, peanut butter, etc? I like hot sauce in mayo. I love the Old Bay hot sauce mixed into mayo. Great idea making OB hot sauce.

I grew up with many eastern Europeans and always wondered why ajvar never caught on big in the US. Loved it since forever. Pretty much a pepper puree reinforced with eggplant. Well, maybe not a puree.

I love the following recipe.

Ajvar Recipe - Paula Wolfert | Food & Wine (

Back when butter was considered deathly, I was not going to eat margarine, Country Crock, BremmelnBrown, or any of that. Ajvar was a favorite of mine on homemade bread. Still love it. Ajvar is to bread what salsa is to a tortilla chip. Best buds.

Maybe you folks know some variations of ajvar, or something I’ve never tried nor heard of. I’m willing to give it a rip, if you have some ideas. Fresh homemade bread and butter are heavenly. But there’s more out there, dag nabbit! Still love butter, though.


Thanks for posting that ajvar recipe! I have only had it store-bought from a jar, which was okay though didn’t enjoy it enough to try again. Definitely keeping homemade ajvar in mind for when local eggplant and peppers are around later this summer.

Olive oil and coarse salt are our go-tos on bread here, rather than butter (adore butter though). Sometimes we add a sprinkle of dried chile pepper—Aleppo is my fave— or za’atar.

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At around that time, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol so did review what I was eating (in the end I needed medication). I rarely have butter these days but use a sunflower spread on my sandwiches. Philistine that I probably am, I can’t really detect any difference in flavour.

I love olive oil with salt. I have my aleppo flakes floating in some OO. Actually sinking in it. I used to buy canned ajvar; but I see the prices now. Holy cow! I’ll make a good batch in fall.

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Right now, I have chicken liver pâté, lemon hummus, tzatziki and tirokefteri in the fridge. I buy babaghanoush and use it as a spread.

I love French Onion dip and artichoke Asiago dip, which I use as spreads on toast, but I only buy them a couple times a year because I can’t stop eating them when they’re on hand.

I’ve bought Ajvar 3 times now. I think it’s something you like a lot, or don’t like too much. I’ve had a bottle sitting in my fridge for 5 months, and should find it a home. I like eggplant in babaghanoush and melitzanasalata, and I like roasted peppers in some dishes, but I don’t enjoy Ajvar much.

Any substitutes for mayonnaise on a sandwich ?


I just like ajvar because I grew up with it and love to use all my peppers and eggplants in fall. I’ve made it with hot Hungarian yellow wax peppers, anchos, red bells. Next up, if I get my usual 10lb. batch o’ Hatches, I think I’ll go ajvar with some. Be my special edition ajvar.

To me babaghanoush is a spread. Never made it, but enjoyed every time I’ve had it.

Interesting point with tzatziki. Is that a spread, condiment or both? Love it, though.

I think I’d down that artichoke Asiago in 20 minutes. Danger.

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Hi Greg thanks for bringing something new (to me). How smoky is the commercially prepared Ajvar? Just wondering since I’ve never had it, and I’ve had some baba ghanoush at a couple of restaurants that was so smoky I didn’t want to eat it. Of course, if I make it myself I can control the smoke level.

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Tzatziki is used as a spread, a dip or a condiment. All the Greek spread/dips can be used that way. Other ones include taramasalata (fish roe), the Greek version of Russian salad/Olivye , skordalia (Garlic potato ), Tirokafteri (feta and roasted pepper dip/spread)

This is a red pepper dip I like

Georgian Pkhali (spreads/dips) are good, too.


@CCE I’ve purchased commercially prepared ajvar (can’t recall the brand, unfortunately), and I didn’t find it smoky at all.

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There are so many… sweet and savoury, mild and intense. We are a bread eating household so I am always looking for new ideas for spreads.

  • Macadamia nut “butter” (process until oil is released and creamy), add this to melted chocolate for an instant and crap-free chocolate spread. I eat this every day, btw.
  • Pureed leftover vegs or fruits (usually need to add something to absorb excess liquid. I use broken flaxseeds/finely chopped nuts, chia seeds etc)
  • Liptauer (Austrian cream cheese with paprika)
  • Potted shrimp/crab meat
  • Greek and Turkish “salads” (not the leafy kind) and yoghurt based purees etc.

I like mustard and natto on my bread, too. Actually, I put all kinds of (pureed) things on bread. Just last week I made a batch of dried tomatoes with chipotle and have been spreading that on bread.

Not a true “spread” but it’s nice on bread. Cretan-style tomato toast. You can just rub a glove of garlic on toast, then next rub a cut, ripe tomato on the toast again. Andalusian style.


As far as spreads go Ima pretty basic bitch - I love cream cheese with herbs, like scallions, or very finely chopped leeks. Riffs on mayo, i.e. mixed with tomato paste, or roasted red peppers, or various herbs, or cayenne/curry… the sky’s the limit. I love butter, but I can’t abide a thick shmear of it on bread.

I like chèvre with herbs & garlic, too… although we’re probably not counting actual cheeses as spreads?

Tzatziki, melitsano & tarama are more like dips to me, though I’ve certainly been known to spread them on pita.

Different kinds of pesto can be nice, tapenade, zhoug, Spanish tomato bread, mushroom tapenade, etc, especially on sammiches.


Do you mean just to eat for breakfast, or a snack?

I like Marmite and Bovril, but always butter first. Cream cheese of various types. Cheese spreads too.

I enjoy ajvar, muhammara, pate, and many other savory spreads mentioned through the thread, but I don’t reach for them for breakfast, they are more other meal-adjacent (or for a snack).

Surprised no one mentioned jams and marmalades (not my thing though). Honey on toast is delicious.


I’m a huge fan of all different types of jams, jellies and preserves.
I just finished off a jar of sour cherry jam I picked up at a European deli, and I’m currently working through some Sicilian bitter orange marmalade.


Not sure if you would consider garlic bread a spread, but if you do, this is one of my favs…

Mince a few cloves of garlic, and mix mayo and paprika for a light salmon color, and refrigerate for one hour.

Butter sliced sourdough bread, add a good coating of above, top with parm and bake on a cookie sheet at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes.


I’ve never had ajvar that had any smoke flavor/nose feel. But, I wonder if you couldn’t make ajvar out of the same peppers they use to make paprika. Smoked paprika/smoked ajvar. Why not? Might be on to something. You’ll inevitably have a hint of the flavor of the grill; but, after skin is removed, much less so.

I used to by a kind from Serbia. haven’t seen it in decades, and, like I say, most varieties now are pretty pricey.

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Why can’t a cheese be a spread? Some are quite soft enough. I’ve eaten some goat’s milk cheese that mimics chevre. I melt cheese on bread all the time. Is that not a spread?

I would have said tzatziki is a dip; but, these days, when I make a souvlaki, I spread it (tzatziki)on my na’an first, then add the skewered goods. Technically I’m spreading it.

Mushroom tapenades have a special place in my heart. I noticed in S. America they’ll use aji as a dip, spread, drink. JK on the drink. Had some that was good enough, though.

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It was a question, not a statement – after all, cream cheese was my first answer :wink:

Of course there are plenty of runny cheeses out there, and I love all of them. And tzatziki is the perfect lube for pork or lamb souvlaki. And lots of thinly sliced red onion, too.

You spread it, it’s spread. I remember pureeing veggies for my kids when they were little, making a nice thick soup, veggies integrated. Forgot about for a few minutes and it ended up thick. My daughter spread it on some toast, and that was a household staple for years. I’ve always cleared the veggie drawer and pantry before things grew hair. Water, salt, pick your spices, and boil it soft, boat motor, voila. I deal with some kids with eating disorders, and I call this the perfect food. If you’re going to eat once per day, or once every other, this is a good one. If they’re good with meat fat, I’ll add some bacon fat; if not, olive oil. A little sesame oil is nice, too. I always make them their first batch, so they’ll believe it’s pretty good. Gives them a reason to visit out local Japanese mart. They have these little packets of nori, with spices, that you add to soup, that blows it up. Fish sauce can make a big difference, too.

Breakfast, snack, whatever. I’ve reduced tomato sauce for the purpose of spreading. Bread ya dip in, toast you spread it on. Never had Bovril. Honey is amazing.

Maybe some of you canners would like to share some of your proud creations.

I adore rhubarb jam. Might need a little citrus help; but it turns out nicely.


Funny, I also insist on red onion for souvlaki. Read a paper through the slices. I used to think there must be some mystery to making good flatbreads. Easiest thing I’ve ever done.

My dad loved (by layer, from the toast up): butter, peanut butter, braunschweiger. My dad’s favorite workday breakfast.

Mayo garlic bread. I’ve sure used garlic aioli as a dip; but never topes and baked bread with it. Hmm. Got me intrigued. Butter, garlic/pap mayo on buttered sourdough, parm in the oven.

Anyone else ever do this? I have friends who prefer mayo to butter on grilled cheese (some sht you just don’t do in Wisconsin.)