19 May 2012

Incomparable Basil Wrapped Goat Cheese Balls for our Own Hunger Games

Basil Wrapped Goat Cheese Balls
Welcome to the l-o-n-g- weekend! The kidlets are visiting from the coast, Spring is in the air and all is right with the world. Whenever I have time off you will most often find me in the kitchen, but with company visiting the less time actually spent recreating mouthwatering dishes the better. Enter these little morsels from Food 52  inspired by the Hunger Games. 

First of all I must say that I have never had the opportunity to see The Hunger Games. But with all of the media hype of late it is hard to turn a blind eye. Somewhere along the line I read about an appetizer that appeared in the book that intrigued me. With all of the fresh produce appearing in the markets it seemed the time to recreate a version of the recipe that had captured my imagination. 

One of the very first mentions of food in The Hunger Games trilogy comes in the form of a gift from Prim. On Reaping Day, Prim presents her beloved big sister with a gift. The gift is goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves. Historically, goats represent sacrifice and giving, and when Prim gives Katniss this goat cheese she foreshadows the many sacrifices the Everdeen family will be forced to make when Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place in the Hunger Games. 

With a good quality creamy goat cheese you could keep it simple and wrap a tasty morsel of goat cheese in a basil leaf and let that be an outstanding appetizer to offer to those you love all on its own. But when have you ever known me to leave well enough alone?  I came across a recipe from Food52 that I just had to try. It was simple, requires no cooking time, only a marriage of flavours in the refrigerator for a few hours.

I served these simple, tasty little bites with other cheeses from my recent trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle alongside fig jam, a spicy blend of olives, crackers and crostini. The cheese morsels wrapped in basil were spread onto some toasted crostini brushed with a little olive oil.  They are simple and perfect little no bake bites to highlight local goat cheese.

Let's just say these did not stay on the coffee table long and I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that Little Burnt Toast had just driven 5 hours from the coast. This is new "go to" recipe when I need something tasty and exciting for guests. I would serve these over and over again! A peppery bite of basil and a hint of garlic is contrasted with the creamy goat cheese and crunch of a walnut coating.

**Basil Wrapped Goat Cheese Balls**

8 ounces goat cheese
40 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
30 large basil leaves
30 toothpicks

In a medium bowl, beat together the first three ingredients until smooth. Stir in the garlic and sun dried tomatoes. Cover and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

Shape the mixture into 3/4-inch balls and roll in walnuts in a shallow dish. Wrap each ball with a basil leaf and secure with a toothpick. Cover and chill until serving.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I am not really into Hunter Game, but these cheese balls look really interesting. Enjoy your long weekend.

  2. AnonymousMay 19, 2012

    If I were playing the desert island game and could only have one food with me, it would be cheese ..in all its variety and glory. These little bites look delicious!

    Hope you enjoy the long weekend.

  3. I've heard the title 'Hunger Games' but am absolutely clueless as to what it is - I'll Google it LOL
    The goat cheese wrapped in basil - now, that is sheer heaven!

  4. look beautiful Val! love basil!

  5. I haven't seen the Hunger Games yet but I can see why these cheese balls got your attention! I have to try this recipe for sure! Have a great time with the kidlets, Val, it sounds like fun to me!

  6. They look great - love the idea of wrapping them in basil for that fresh taste along with the creamy cheese.

  7. AnonymousMay 19, 2012

    Perfect appetizers, I love the idea of wrapping in basil!

  8. When you publish your Hunger Games cookbook, I'll be first in line to buy a copy.

  9. This is really incomparable! I have a really strong urge to pinch that yummy bit of food off the plate! Great post.


  10. I'm reading the book right now and they are so good. That treat goes very well with The Hunger Games. Have a great w-end with the family.

  11. These really are a perfect appetizer. I can't wait to give them a try. I hope you enjoy the time you get to spend with your family. Blessings...Mary

  12. So...I just want to eat these for dinner. Nothing else. Just these. That seems reasonable, right?

  13. These would disappear quickly at my house too, Val. Goat cheese and walnuts are a wonderful combination of flavors. I loved the Hunger Games series and am looking forward to the second movie.

  14. i still haven't read the books, but i can appreciate your itty bitty cheese balls! nice work, val.

  15. AnonymousMay 21, 2012

    well...we have had many long discussions about the Hunger Games over delicious food...this fits both categories!! thank you..fun too!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  16. I would definitely serve these at a party. And, knowing me and my love for cheese and nuts.. I'd down the whole tray even before my guests could try them. Well maybe I would save them a few. :)

  17. I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your kids, Val! How fun. :-) These cheese balls sound delicious. :-)

  18. These are so cute nestled into the basil leaves! They're perfect for entertaining.

  19. I hope your long weekend was great. Those cheese balls look delicious.

  20. These little cheese balls would make a wonderful appetizer for a party this Memorial Day weekend!

  21. All of my favorite things rolled into one pretty package!

  22. Have a great weekend with your family! What wonderful cheese bites and appetizer for spring and summer.

  23. These look great Val! What a delicious little bite!

  24. I am SO incredibly behind in reading your posts and those of my have bloggers! Now that summer school is coming to an end, I am catching up all the way back to the month of May post-reading.

    This is one incredible great idea for yummy appeez! I'm printing it off as I type! Glad you had a nice time with the kiddos!!!


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