Olive-Stuffed Goat Cheese Bites


For a quick, last-minute New Year’s Eve hors d’oeuvre, here’s a special recipe from Bradford Thompson, executive chef at Lever House on New York City’s Park Avenue.

Chef Thompson takes pride in using all-natural meats, sustainable seafood and seasonal produce. His New Year’s Eve menu includes Slow-Cooked Arctic Char With Asian Pear, Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms; Steamed Black Bass With Shellfish Velouté, Crispy Onions and Chorizo; and Delicata Squash Agnolotti with Speck Ham, Black Truffle Jus and Candied Walnuts.

With minimal preparation and only four ingredients, Chef Thompson’s Olive-Stuffed Goat Cheese Bites are an elegant prelude to a dinner party or impromptu gathering. Preparation time is only 10 minutes. You’ll need to chill these bites for at least 30 minutes before serving.

All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Olive-Stuffed Goat Cheese Bites

Makes 24 bites

1 (4.5-ounce) jar Spanish olives stuffed with almonds, drained
6 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped

Place olives in colander and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.

In medium bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese. Form a rounded teaspoon of cheese mixture into a small ball, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining cheese mixture, making 24 balls in all. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

In each ball, make a small indent with your finger. Place an almond-stuffed olive into the indent, and mold the cheese around the olive. Roll back into a ball shape, with the olive completely encased in the cheese.

Place the toasted almonds in a small bowl, and roll each ball to coat. Keep the balls covered, in the refrigerator, until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Note: These bites will keep refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 1 day.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Lindsay Olives

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