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2000s Recipes + Menus

Pecan and Goat-Cheese Marbles

Makes50 to 60 hors d’oeuvres
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
November 2008
Two holiday traditions—the nut bowl and the cheese plate—unite in these refined cheese balls. Lily-pad-like parsley leaves add a herbaceous note echoed in the surprising (and surprisingly good) combination of rosemary and coriander in the center of the cheese. These diminutive marbles coated with sweet buttered pecans are just the right size, making them neat to eat.

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The Recipe.
  • 1 cup pecans (1/4 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (11-oz) log soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed with side of a large knife, then chopped
  • About 50 to 60 large flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in upper third.
  • Toss pecans with butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then toast in a 4-sided sheet pan until fragrant and a shade darker, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool completely.
  • Pulse pecans in a food processor just until finely chopped, then transfer to a wide shallow bowl.
  • Stir together goat cheese, rosemary, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until combined well. Form teaspoons of cheese mixture into marbles between your palms, then roll in pecans to coat and roll between your palms again briefly. Transfer to a plate.
  • Put a parsley leaf under each cheese marble and spear together with a wooden pick.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Cheese marbles can be made and coated with pecans 1 day ahead and chilled.
  • Cheese marbles can be speared with parsley 1 hour ahead and chilled.