You know what people like eating? Cheese. You know what people like eating during the holidays? Fancy cheese. “Fancy,” however, lies mostly in the presentation. Lots of herbs, for example, always make things look and taste fancy; little crunchy bits can have a similar effect. It follows then that the easiest way to impress people this holiday season is to give them cheese (goat cheese, to be exact) rolled in fancy stuff (herbs and crunchy bits).
It’s basically a cheeseball, except easier, and a different shape. It takes all of two minutes, and you probably already have a bunch of “stuff” that would work. For example, the cheese logs you see above were rolled in some chives that I had leftover from another recipe, bacon bits that had been sitting in my fridge for a while, and a salty, sugary spice blend I bought in France over two years ago. The only thing I had to buy was the goat cheese.
In addition to chives, bacon bits, and spice blends; dried fruit, toasted, candied or plain chopped nuts, and any and all fresh herbs will work. You can roll your chèvre in one thing, like a whole bunch of fresh dill; two things, like chopped dried cranberries and thyme; or three things, like basil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed peppercorns.
This appetizer is not only a cinch to assemble and fun to eat, it’s a great way to clean out your fridge and pantry. Have crispy onions leftover from Thanksgiving? Crush ‘em up a little and roll a log of goat cheese in it. Maybe get some crispy sage involved. Have some pecans that didn’t make it onto your candied yams? Chop ‘em and roll some goat cheese in the bits. If you can crush, crumble, or chop it up, you can roll some goat cheese in it. And then eat it. And be happy.