Say what you will, but this blast from the past is making one big comeback. Not to be mistaken with the neon orange spheres you see in the grocery store, this cheese ball is a labor of love and uses locally sourced goat cheese from Paradox Farm.
This Southern Cheese Ball is my go-to appetizer for any entertaining event and now has a reputation all its own. If this crowd-pleaser doesn’t hit the table when my friends arrive then the interrogation ensues.
It’s always a hit and my foolproof method will impress your guests without adding to your stress. Try it at your next gathering. It’s one for the crowd!
Southern Cheese Ball
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 4 Medjool dates
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallions
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- An hour before preparation, take the goat cheese, butter, and cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften.
- Remove the pits from the dates and coarsely chop.
- In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the chopped pecans and flat-leaf parsley. Mix until well incorporated.
- The mixture will be fairly sticky at this stage and too difficult to work with. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. You want the mixture to firm up enough for you to be able to mold into a ball in your hands but not so firm that it comes back to a hardened state.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread the chopped pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 8-10 minutes or until you see them slightly darkened and smell their aroma throughout the kitchen.
- Once the pecan pieces come out of the oven let them cool for 5 minutes.
- Combine the flat-leaf parsley with the pecan pieces and coarsely chop them together until you have a fairly uniform mixture. Spread in an even layer on a cutting board, counter or parchment paper.
- Take your cheese mixture out of the refrigerator. Using a spatula scrape the mixture into your hand or onto a piece of parchment paper. Form into a ball. This part can be a bit messy but as soon as you drop the mixture onto the parsley and pecans it will start to really come together.
- Drop the cheeseball mixture onto the spread out parsley and pecan mixture. Roll the cheese ball around until the entire ball is coated with the parsley and pecans.
- Using a flatted spatula transfer the cheeseball to your favorite plate and surround with crackers and grapes. Enjoy!