Grape Cheese Balls
Photo: Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN
Growing up in the 1970s and '80s means I experienced all sorts of interesting — some would say crazy — food trends. Everything from Hamburger Helper to Steak-Ums to casseroles made with cream of mushroom soup. And who could forget “salad,” which was essentially a gelatin mold with anything and everything suspended inside of it.
However, there was one food trend that holds a soft spot in my heart — the cheese ball, a magnificent array of cheese, herbs, spices and nuts. But a huge hunk of cheese slathered on crackers isn’t exactly considered a healthy appetizer option. So I set out to make a bite-sized savory cheese ball appetizer that is both nutritious and delicious. Enjoy!
Bite-Sized Grape Cheese Balls
Makes 30 balls; 2 balls per serving
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced chives plus 3 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 30 red seedless grapes
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Mix goat cheese, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon minced chives, honey and pepper thoroughly in a bowl. Set aside remaining chives.
- Using around 1 tablespoon of cheese mix, place one grape in the middle, forming cheese mixture around grape into a ball shape. Place each grape cheese ball on a plate lined with wax paper.
- Place all cheese-grape balls in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Before serving, place remaining chives in one bowl and walnuts in second bowl. Roll half the cheese balls in remaining chives and the other half in walnuts until evenly coated. Serve.
Abbie Gellman, MS, RD, CDN, is a New York City-based registered dietitian and chef. Check out her site and blog at Culinary Nutrition Cuisine, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.