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Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls

Gourmet Thanksgiving in Advance (described here) Recipe #3

Gorgeous, easy to make, and ridiculously delicious. Be sure to make these! Bet you can’t eat just six.

Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine‘s Pecan and Goat-Cheese Marbles

1 cup pecans (1/4 lb)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (11-oz) log soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons minced rosemary (I used dried)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed with side of a large knife, then chopped
About 50 to 60 large flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in upper third. Toss pecans with butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then toast in a 4-sided sheet pan until fragrant and a shade darker, 8 to 10 minutes. (Watch them very closely. If some happen to get a little burnt/dark, don’t worry- I thought it added a “smokey” taste and we still gobbled them up.) Transfer to a plate and cool completely.

2. Chop pecans rather finely, then transfer to a wide shallow bowl.

3. Stir together goat cheese, rosemary, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined well. Form teaspoons of cheese mixture into marbles between your palms, then roll in pecans to coat and roll between your palms again briefly. Transfer to a plate.

4. Put a parsley leaf over each cheese marble and spear together with a wooden pick.

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10 thoughts on “Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese Balls

  1. Woman–these look delicious! Let’s cook together sometime, OK?

  2. Just come to New York. Chances are I’ll be in my kitchen.

  3. Randall on said:

    These sound great. I have a Christmas party coming up and I might edit the recipe a bit and just make a few larger cheese balls as a dip for crackers instead of small bite size ones.

  4. Hilary on said:

    That’s a great idea. I might put some extra pecans and chopped parsley in the middle of the larger cheese balls so that the inside bites are just as tasty and colorful as the outside bites.

    Let me know how it turns out!

  5. They look very different from the ‘original’ (from gourmet mag), but much yummier!
    Thanks for the recipe, I am going to add them as a last-minute tapas/mezze.

  6. Hi Sam!
    Thanks for stopping by. Alas, I never copy a recipe exactly (whether that’s intentional or not!) but I’m almost always happy with the results. That’s in part why I started Smorgasbite- to convince others that nothing has to be exact or “perfect” to be delicious and impress your family and friends.

    If you ever make them, let me know how yours come out!

  7. Yes, you are right. Adapting recipes and making them your own is half the fun.

    They were wonderful! Even my dad, who claims he doesn’t like goat’s cheese, loved them (we told him it was cream cheese 🙂

    I made them a day in advance, and that improved the taste even.

  8. Hi again Sam,

    Happy to hear it. You’ve got me thinking that I need to whip up another batch of these myself.

    This time: Pistachios! Just kidding… I think.

  9. Well I truly enjoyed reading it. This post provided by you is very constructive for correct planning.

  10. Paul on said:

    Hi folks, first time here. Love these. Did them as starter with fennel Julienne and baby vine tomatoes. Very nice. (used walnuts by the way). thanks for recipe idea, lots of play in this with many variations/possibilities. E.g. lightly boil baby toms for easy peel, (still solid) marinate in balsamic. simply put one in middle of each ball. Nice surprise centre:)

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