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Almond-Coated Peach and Goat Cheese Balls

Recipe Courtesy of Cara from Big Girls, Small Kitchen and Pacific Coast Producers

From Cara:

“These easy-to-make gems are perfect for spring entertaining—as suited to an Easter lunch spread as to the first outdoor cocktail party of the season. In fact, aside from toasting the almonds, this appetizer doesn’t require you to have the oven on.

You can make bite-sized balls of cheese with any flavoring you like, but I adore how the little pieces of peach show up each time you bite into the clouds of goat cheese. Don’t skimp on the toasted nuts to coat!”

Makes about 20 one-inch balls

1 cup slivered almonds
2 peach halves in syrup, chopped
10 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temp
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons syrup from peach can

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and just golden, about 8 minutes. Remove to a bowl to cool, then chop very finely either by hand or in a food processor. If you use a food processor, be careful not to pulse too much or you’ll end up with nut butter.

Meanwhile, chop the peaches into a very fine dice. Place in a small mixing bowl and add the fresh goat cheese. Use a silicone spatula to mix very well.

Shape the goat cheese-peach mixture into 1-inch balls with your hands. You may need to run your hands under cold water occasionally, to prevent balls from sticking. If peach pieces fall out, wedge them back in.

Place the chopped almonds on a plate and roll the cheese balls through to coat completely. Set on a platter and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the balsamic drizzle: place the vinegar and syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, until syrupy. Scrape into a little bowl to cool.

Drizzle each ball with some syrup before serving.

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