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Date, Walnut & Blue Cheese Ball

By 9:49 AM , , , , ,

I'm always in search of new (to me) appetizers/party fare. When we entertain, which unfortunately as of late hasn't been that often, I love to make a variety of appetizers for our guests. I've never made a cheese ball before, but when I found this Cooking Light recipe, I thought it would be a perfect first attempt.


This turned out great! The blue cheese is prominent, but not overwhelming. You get a little bit of shallot and the dates are a phenomenal sweet contrast to all the savory flavors. The lemon rind gives the cheese mixture a little bit of brightness as well.

Several notes:
- The original recipe calls for the cheese ball to be rolled in both walnuts and parsley. The Husband & I are not big fans of fresh parsley, so I omitted the parsley and increased the amount of walnuts.
- I forgot to toast the walnuts (we can chalk that up to pregnancy brain), and I am sure it would be even more delicious with them toasted.
- I upped the amount of dates.

Date, Walnut & Blue Cheese Ball

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
5 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 - 4 tablespoons minced pitted Medjool dates (3-4 dates)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Place first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add dates, shallots, lemon rind, salt, and pepper; beat at medium speed until well blended, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.

Spoon cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a ball, using a rubber spatula. Wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap; chill overnight.

Place walnuts in a shallow dish. Unwrap cheese ball; gently roll in nut mixture, coating well. Place on a serving plate. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

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