Jen’s Notes: An easy and impressive make ahead appetizer. Make as 1 large or 2 smaller cheese logs.
½ cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon butter (I use salted)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounce log of goat cheese softened
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
honey for drizzling
Bring a half cup of water to a boil in the microwave (or on the stovetop). Add the cranberries and let them sit for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside to cool.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and swirl the pan until melted. Add the pecans, pumpkin seeds and salt. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the pecans and seeds are golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat and transfer the pecans and seeds to a bowl to cool.
Transfer the plumped cranberries, pecans and pumpkin seeds to a cutting board and chop medium-fine with a sharp knife. Add all of these together with the herbs to a bowl and stir to combine.
Place the softened goat cheese in a medium-size bowl and stir until creamy. Add half of the pecan mixture and stir to combine.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap (about 14-16-inches long) on a work surface. Transfer the goat cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap. Bring the plastic wrap up over the cheese and mold the mixture into a log shape (similar to the original goat cheese log).
Place another sheet of plastic wrap or a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a work surface. Spread the remaining pecan mixture out to an even layer. Unwrap the goat cheese log and roll in the nut mixture, pressing gently to coat. Be sure to coat the ends too. Once the log is coated with the nut mixture, you can shape it again as desired. Refrigerate if making in advance.
To serve, remove the log from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes in advance then drizzle with honey before serving. Serve with crackers, crostini or celery sticks.
Recipe adapted from https://thecafesucrefarine.com