If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a bazillion events to attend and no clue what to bring. I’ve already done the bottle of wine too often… I want something more unique and, well, handmade. You know those funny cheese loafs and cheese balls that you find at the grocery store? This recipe for goat cheese bites is my answer! Admittedly, cheese balls are a bit of a personal guilty pleasure — I love the savory flavor mixed with the crunch of nuts and crackers. The problem is that I feel a bit ridiculous showing up to a party with one! Instead, I’ll be bringing a tray of these.
Goat Cheese Bites recipe (makes 15-20 Prep time: 30 minutes plus 24 hours pre-chilling):
- 8 oz. soft goat cheese
- 1/3 jar of Dalmatia Fig Spread, 8.5oz jar
- 10 dried apricots
- 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoon dried chives
Combine fig jam and 5 apricots in blender and purée until it’s smooth. Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet, spread the apricot and fig mixture to 1/4” thickness and freeze it overnight. Cut the rest of the apricots into quarters and set aside. Cut up the goat cheese into tablespoon-sized chunks and divide into two piles. Take the frozen fig and jam puree out of the freezer just before you are ready to assemble the cheese balls. Put a goat cheese chunk in palm of your hand. Place 1/4 teaspoon of the fig purée into the middle of the cheese, wrap it around the fruit and roll between your hands into a happy little ball. Place on a clean plate. Repeat this process with the other half of the cheese bits, placing a piece of dried apricot in the center of each one. Mix the poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chives in a small shallow bowl. Roll each cheese ball in the mixture. Put the finished balls onto a serving tray or keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to two days before serving.
For a ‘bonus’ bite, I absolutely love peppadew peppers. A bit tangy and a bit sweet, these little morsels are perfect for filling with cheese and topping with parsley.
Stuffed Peppadew “Berries” recipe (makes 15-20, prep time: 30 minutes):
- 15-20 peppadew peppers
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese
- 6-8 sprigs of flat leaf parsley, washed
Drain the liquid from the peppadews, and place them upside down on a sheet of paper towel to dry. Wash and dry the parsley by patting with a towel or spinning in a salad spinner. Pull the leaves from the stems. Break the goat cheese into coarse chunks, about the size of a teaspoon. Using a small spoon, place enough goat cheese inside each hollow pepper so that it is full but not overflowing. Smooth top of each one and place the filled peppadews on a clean plate or serving tray. Gently press the base of two or three leaves of parsley into the goat cheese in each pepper so that the finished product resembles a strawberry with little leaves on top. Enjoy immediately. These can also be made one day ahead and kept refrigerated in a sealed container.
recipe developed by Claire McAleese. photography and styling by Jojotastic.
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