This pine nut-crusted feta cheese ball is a great recipe to serve at your next party or get together. It’s a tangy mix of cream cheese and feta, lightened up by fresh herbs, lemon zest, and fennel seeds. Once the whole thing comes together and chills in the refrigerator, it is rolled in toasted pine nuts. All that’s needed is some crackers, you have a great appetizer.
It has retro appeal, but with an upgraded Mediterranean flavor. It’s simple to assemble, and best done in advance, which is ideal for any party. I actually brought it to a friend’s Thanksgiving get together (perhaps I’m a bit behind in my blogging), and it was quite a crowd-pleaser. All this recipe requires is toasting pine nuts, pushing the button of your food processor, and the time to let your dairy products come up to room temperature.
Feta and Pine Nut Cheese Ball (slightly adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¾ cup pine nuts, toasted, chopped
- Crackers (for serving)
Process cream cheese, feta, and butter in a food processor until smooth. Pulse in capers, oregano, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and half of the parsley.
Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt as the feta is already salty).
Scrape into a small plastic wrap–lined bowl; gather up plastic around cheese, shaping into a ball. Chill until firm, 3–12 hours.
Before serving, mix pine nuts and remaining parsley together. Unwrap cheese ball and roll in the mixture just before serving. Serve with crackers.
April 13, 2016