Believe it or not, sometimes I find myself with leftover pesto. I know, I know, seems impossible! But since I've been trying to stuff myself with less pasta and more veggies, I'm finding that an entire recipe of Basil Pesto stretches more on things like zoodles and grilled veggies than it does with starchy pastas.
Hence, leftover pesto.
Another thing I find myself throwing out routinely, is left over cream cheese. I don't eat cream cheese very often, unless it is to make my all-time most popular recipe: Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts. However, that recipe only calls for half a package of cream cheese! Since I never need it for anything else, it eventually dies a slow death in the fridge before I call it and throw it out.
Naturally, when I was having a few last minute guests over the other day, both the leftover pesto and leftover cream cheese were staring back at me when I opened the fridge, foraging for something to serve people other than pinot noir.
I realized I had the opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for a long time: modernize the cheese ball.
You see - a cheese ball is really a great thing for entertaining! It can be made ahead, keeps wonderfully, is easy to have a little or a lot of, and doesn't need to be watched and replenished. You simply put out the cheese ball, and call it a night.
I've updated it here with the fresh flavor of goat cheese, which pairs exceptionally well with pinot noir, but is also a delightfully tangy addition to the table for your white-wine loving friends as well. The cream cheese cuts the goat-y-ness a bit, and also stretches your dollar ( since goat cheese can get pricy! )
We really loved this easy goat cheese appetizer - so much so that I just might be inspired to experiment with a few more versions in the next months!
Would you like to see more updated classic recipes like this basil pesto goat cheese ball? If so, what kind of classics would you like updated? Let me know in the comments or on social media!
Basil Pesto Goat Cheese Ball
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup basil pesto
- 1 cup pine nuts toasted if you feel like it, untoasted if you don't.
- plastic wrap
- Mix the cheese and pesto in a bowl until well combined.
- Scrape the contents of the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap, gather into a rough ball and twist at the top to seal.
- Freeze for one hour, or put in the fridge for about four hours ( or until the cheese ball firms up ).
- Place the pine nuts in a bowl. Drop the cheese ball directly from the plastic wrap into the bowl and discard the plastic wrap. Roll the cheese in the pine nuts until the entire ball is covered in nuts.
- Serve with crackers or a sliced baguette and a few sprigs of fresh basil.