Well less than a week until the big day, are you prepared? I know I am, but let’s just hope that I can survive an entire week with my very excited 9 and 10 year olds. Ever since I began teaching, I have not had 5 FULL days prior to Christmas break. I am a little scared. They have already been bursting with excitement for the past 2 weeks, say a prayer for me and my fellow teachers. If you are putting the last minute touches on your Christmas menus or your party menus, may I suggest this festive appetizer.
I made this for my Mom and Dad’s birthday dinner, it was a hit. See my family is beyond obsessed with goat cheese, we put it on every and anything we can. I put this recipe on the back burner to save for an occasion where I knew it would be appreciated. And boy was it, I was so disappointed when my Mom brought the empty plate into the kitchen while I was putting the final touches on dinner. I had only sampled one or two bites of it. I guess that just means I have to make it again. The smooth and tangy goat cheese gets a garlicky crunchy bite to it that pairs perfectly with the sweet basil oil. The green color of the oil makes for a beautiful and elegant presentation. It won’t disappoint at your holiday gathering!
For the goat cheese:
½ oz. Parmesan cheese
¼ cup panko
Freshly ground pepper
4 oz. semi-firm plain goat cheese
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp. coarse salt, plus more to taste
For the basil oil:
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Baguette slices, for serving
What you’ll do:
Place the Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add the panko to the bowl and pulse a few more times so the cheese and crumbs have an even, fine texture. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer to a shallow plate or bowl. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor.
Place the goat cheese in a small bowl. Finely mince the garlic. Sprinkle the salt over the minced garlic and smash the mixture together with a fork or the side of a chef’s knife until it forms a paste. Add the garlic paste to the bowl with the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture together until smooth and well blended. Form the goat cheese mixture into a round ball. Roll the ball in the Parmesan-panko mixture until well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the basil oil, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves to the pot and boil for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Blot the basil leaves with a towel to remove all of the excess water. Add the basil leaves and the garlic to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the food processor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Continue processing until the mixture is well blended and the oil takes on a green hue. Strain the oil mixture through a fine mesh sieve onto a serving plate. Place the ball of goat cheese in the center of the basil oil. Garnish with additional fresh basil if desired. Serve with baguette slices.
Source: Annie’s Eats