pistachio cheese ball
photo by Jennifer Johnson
The tedious nature of my mom’s holiday staples is, in large part, why these recipes were saved for special occasions. But hours of prep proved perfect for youthful helping hands and the fond memories that followed. Here, I have attempted to maintain the original flavors, but simplified the recipe in hopes of serving it more often.
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, at room temperature
1 scallion, white and light green parts, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 ounces blue cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup shelled and chopped pistachios
Crackers, for serving
In bowl of a food processor, add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, scallions, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down sides, if needed. Add blue cheese and pulse 2-3 additional times to combine, while also maintaining texture of blue cheese crumbles.
Line a plate with parchment paper. Using a spatula, scrape mixture onto parchment paper. Cover mixture with another piece of parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator. Use bottom piece of parchment paper to help guide mixture into a loose ball with your hands (mixture will still be soft). Tuck parchment paper around cheese ball and return to refrigerator for 1 hour.
When cheese ball is firm, scatter pistachios onto another piece of parchment paper. Carefully roll cheese ball over nuts until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
cook’s note: Cheese ball may be made up to a day in advance, but save the coating until 30 minutes before serving, to maintain texture of pistachios.