Leftovers Cheese Ball
Serves 6 as a light snack
Equipment: A small food processor, about 2 cups capacity
8 – 10 ounces various cheeses at room temperature, cut in about ½ inch cubes – this is approximately 1-1/4 cups in total.
- One quarter to one third should be a soft cheese like Brie or Camembert with the rind cut off. You can also combine some blue cheese or feta with cream cheese.
- One quarter should be a sharp, hard cheese, like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
- The remainder can be any combination of cheeses like Cheddar, Manchego, Gouda; cheeses that aren’t too hard or too soft
1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons dry white wine
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped scallion greens
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pistachios
Pinch of mild smoked paprika (optional)
Grind up the hard cheese pieces in the food processor first. Add the softened butter and process to blend. Then add the rest of the cheese, the pepper, the thyme, scallions, and 1 tablespoon of the wine. Process with pulses until the mixture stops moving. Check the texture – you should be able to squeeze the clumps of cheese together. If not, add another tablespoon of wine and process again. Taste for salt and add a little if you think it needs it.
Put the chopped nuts on a small plate and mix in the paprika if you’re using it. Remove the cheese from the processor and put it in a small bowl. Use your hands to mash it together into a ball. Then roll the cheese ball in the nut mixture and press the nuts in lightly. It won’t be completely covered, and some bits of cheese will be visible. You can use more nuts if you like, but I think this is the right amount flavor-wise.
Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour. If it’s in the fridge longer than that, take it out about 20 minutes before you plan to serve it.