Cheddar Olive Balls

There are few things more exciting for a child than a house full of grown up guests laughing, smelling like alcohol, listening to the Doobie Brothers, and eating foods too fancy for highchair cuisine. I remember those days only slightly, sadly. But I do have a few fond memories of the grown up food nibbles I’d manage to get just before my bedtime. One such favorite was the cheddar cheese-covered olive. It’s so ’70s, right? 

I hadn’t thought about the treat that was only made for my parents’ guests in quite some time. But recently, ways to eat olives beyond sticking them on the tips of my fingers piqued my interest, and I began exploring my memory banks for olive recipes.

Now a vegan, I’m not so much even a fan of vegan cheddar cheese for the most part. But I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try this recipe from Vegan Comfort’s blog. I make a few substitutions including replacing the Earth Balance with a mix of coconut and olive oil for a little healthier fat source (2 tablespoons each). I also add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast in the mix.

Yes, these are great for serving to guests for grown up parties (and the occasional curious toddler), but they’re also a perfectly legitimate vegan snack food or appetizer even if you’re the only grown up around…Enjoy.

Makes 1-2 dozen olives

CHEDDAR OLIVE BALLS

Ingredients

1 cup Daiya cheddar style shreds
4 tbsp Earth Balance (or other vegan ‘butter’)
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika
12-24 pimento-stuffed green olives, drained

Directions

  • Mix the Daiya into the Earth Balance, then stir in the flour, water, salt and paprika to combine thoroughly.
  • Using about a teaspoon per olive, flatten the dough into a disk on a lightly floured surface and wrap around an olive, pinching to seal completely.
  • Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and continue with the remaining olives. At this point, the olive balls can be kept refrigerated until just before serving.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake olive balls until golden and the pastry is cooked, about 20–25 minutes. Serve warm.

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Image: Vegan Comfort