Stuffed Goat Cheese Balls

With summer approaching fast (at least here in Dubai), my appetite for no-bake and no-cook dishes, bits and bites increases proportionally to the growing heat.  We already had around 45C/113F the other day. Although we all live in air-conditioned houses, shop in air-conditioned malls and drive around in air-conditioned cars, I often don't feel like heavy and hot foods. On more than one occasion I threw ambitious dinner plans overboard and simply served a refreshing salad and sandwiches, or crackers and veggie sticks with a dip.
These little balls fit the bill perfectly for the hot summer months. I felt like making goat cheese at home the other day, for no specific purpose. It was sitting there, next to a bunch of big olives and I thought they would go well together. The pistachio coating gives an extra crunch. While I was making these (believe me, every other ball disappeared straight into my mouth) I realized that a sweet and fruity filling would be as good. Grapes and cheese are a well-known combo and they don't fail to deliver here. I couldn't say which one I like more: the sweet or the savory. I know one thing: these will be a hit at any party, picnic or potluck.

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STUFFED GOAT CHEESE BALLS

(Print Recipe)

1 cup goat cheese (chevre)*

25 pitted green olives (best quality you can find) OR
25 big grapes (either green or red)

1/2 cup pistachios

* make goat cheese at home - recipe here

Yields ca. 25 balls
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In a dry pan, roast the pistachios for 5 minutes or so, shaking the pan regularly to avoid burned spots. Let cool a little. Chop finely and transfer to a shallow bowl.

Take about a teaspoon of goat cheese and cover one olive/grape with it. If you use homemade goat cheese, it will be a pretty clean affair, as the goat cheese will have the texture of soft plasticine. Roll each goat cheese ball in the finely chopped roasted pistachios. Keep in the fridge until serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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