Tangy, with crunchy walnuts, savory shallots, and sweet cranberries, this goat cheese ball is perfect for the holidays! It is easy to whip together, can be made days in advance (or even frozen) and makes a lovely addition to a cheese platter or to serve along side celery sticks or rich whole grain crackers. Or give it as a food gift (or hostess gift.)
Personally, I am putting together some snack-y hors d’oeuvre to have out for Christmas day/afternoon when we are together as an extended family. Smoked salmon ( #affiliate link here is a lovely example), this cheese ball, and my favorite liver pate (served with home pickled onions) with some gluten free and regular crackers will make a special but nourishing addition to the usual holiday fun.
Freezing cheese balls
I have never tried freezing a cheese ball before, but Martha Stewart says you can freeze cheese balls for up to a month, which is perfect for my plans of pre-making as much of the food as I can. This cheese ball is now nestled in my freezer well wrapped, waiting for Christmas cheer and magic to happen. But I admit, it may be a little smaller after we all had a few samples of it.
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- Loads of Christmas food gift ideas
- Win a copy of Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons
- Vanilla Lemonade (with lots of natural vitamin C!)
Notes on Ingredients
You can use raw, soaked and dehydrated or toasted walnuts. To toast, stir constantly in a cast iron pan over medium heat until the nuts are starting to brown.
I love these Organic Apple Sweetened Cranberries (affiliate link) for projects like this one.
- 8 ounces of chévre goat cheese (look for the soft goat cheese logs)
- 1-2 tablespoons fat of choice (such as avocado oil, home rendered fats, etc).
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup dried, sweetened cranberries (I used fruit juice sweetened), roughly chopped
- ¼-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- In a small pan, over medium heat saute the shallots in fat/oil of choice until softened and starting to brown (about five to seven minutes). Make sure you stir almost constantly to prevent burning.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the goat cheese with the cooked shallots, ⅓ cup walnuts, and cranberries.
- Using a spatula, scoop into a rough ball, and then use your hands to pat into a ball. Cover the surface with the extra chopped walnuts.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Or freeze up to one month, well wrapped.
- Serve with crackers, crudités, cucumber slices, or celery sticks!