Pomegranate Crusted Herbed Cheese Ball
Pomegranate is one of my favorite fruits ever. When poms are in season I have to buy them at every single grocery store trip that I make. Have to have them. My love for pomegranates can be considered borderline obsessive but really what’s not to love about this fruit? Tiny pearls of yumminess that burst to release a splash of sweet juice in your mouth. When I was little, a pomegranate tree grew in my grandmas back yard in their Jaipur home and when we would visit them during our winter break, the tree would be full of pomegranates. Now, these poms were a little bit of a different kind (a different variety may be). They were small, almost pale pink on the outside, and had pale, off whitish to light pinkish arils. They might not look like the picture perfect pomegranates that we can buy here in the United States but they were just as good, if not better, and what can beat a fresh, picked off the tree pomegranate. Very few other things in this world, I would say!
Our family loves to eat pomegranates as such, but when in season, I like to include them in salads, with roasted vegetables (find a recipe here), and any other way I can think off. So not be intimidated by how to cut a pomegranate, it is easy peasy (find my method here). For Christmas Eve party at a friend’s house, I made this cheese ball and decorated with some fresh pomegranate arils. It looked so festive that it was hard to take that first dig at the cheese ball. Very pretty and festive. I did stick in few leaves of rosemary to make it look more festive and Christmassy. Also, there are herbs mixed in with the cheese so the rosemary kind of represented those herbs.
There are three kind of cheeses that I used – have to have cream cheese; a cheese with a stronger flavor – I used feta, you can use goat cheese, blue or any other cheese flavor you like; and a shredded white cheese – I used Gouda, again go with your favorite white cheese – cheddar, Gruyere or something else. I added sliced and toasted almonds to bring in some nuttiness and then some brown butter fried sage and finished with some very mild seasonings. So here is the rundown:
Cream cheese – 12 oz (340 g), softened, at room temperature
Feta cheese – ½ cup, crumbled
Gouda cheese – ¾ cup, shredded
Sliced almonds – ½ cup, toasted
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Fresh ground black pepper – ¼ teaspoon
Garlic powder – ¼ teaspoon
Seasoned salt – ¼ teaspoon (optional)
Red pepper flakes – ¼ teaspoon
Salted butter – 2 tablespoon
Sage leaves – about 10, (or use 2 – 3 tablespoon of fresh thyme or rosemary)
Pomegranate arils – 1 cup
Crackers – for serving
Set a small, heavy bottomed skillet on medium heat and add butter to it. Once the butter melts, lower the heat and let the butter sizzle and turn a little brown and nutty. Add the sage leaves and cook until crispy about a minute or two. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese, feta, and Gouda cheese. Add the seasonings and beat until well mixed. Fish out the sage leaves from your brown butter and beat into the cheese mixture. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the brown butter and keep mixing until all the butter is incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and using a rubber spatula, mix in the toasted almonds, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
Lay a big piece of plastic wrap on your kitchen counter and dump the cheese mixture on it. Cover the cheese mixture with the plastic wrap and mold it into a ball. Cover it completely with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the pomegranate arils on a paper towel and pat them completely dry. Cover with another sheet of paper towel and set aside. Half an hour before you are ready to serve the cheese ball, bring it out and let it come to room temperature a little bit. After about 15 minutes, unwrap the bowl and smoothen it a bit with help of a rubber spatula. Add pomegranate to a plate and using your hands, start pressing them into the cheese ball or you can roll ball through them. Either way, the idea is to make the arils stick to the cheese surface. Once the entire surface of the ball is covered with pomegranate, it is ready to serve. Remove it from the parchment sheet and move to serving platter. Serve with crackers of your choice.
Love – Vaishali.
You can serve the cheese ball immediately after coating it with pomegranate or keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
The cheese ball can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator (before adding pomegranate).
Stand mixer (or hand held electric mixer)
Measuring cups and spoons
deji moronfola/ beautybeyondphysiqueJune 12, 2019 at 10:56 am
I have never see anything like this, look very interesting. I am curious to try
Janet Elaine RoseJune 12, 2019 at 10:58 am
This looks delicious. As a bonus, pomegranates are very healthy! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!
Mom in the SixJune 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm
Yummy! Looks so good. Our grocery store now offers frozen pomegranate all year round airls – will have to try.
VaishaliJune 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Thanks! Wow that’s great! I might have to look for frozen pomegranate at the grocery store. Such a time-saver..:)
Estefany LemusJune 12, 2019 at 2:22 pm
This Looks YUMMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!! This is such a fun way to eat this fruit! I have a serious sweet tooth so that’s a plus!!!!!!!
Van CastJune 13, 2019 at 1:09 am
It looks absolutely delicious and easy to do! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
daniellaJune 13, 2019 at 5:25 am
Woah I’ll definitely try this for sure. I might make this for father’s day!
VaishaliJune 13, 2019 at 9:41 am
Thanks Daniella. Such a great idea to make this for Father’s Day
OscarJune 13, 2019 at 6:57 am
It’s surely delicious! Looks yummy and fresh. Gonna try it once I got home.
HackytipsJune 13, 2019 at 2:42 pm
That looks sexy! I like everything about pomegranate.
Neil AlvinJune 13, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Now that’s something that I want to see when I open my refrigerator. 🙂
Elizabeth OJune 14, 2019 at 3:09 am
Thank you for sharing this great recipe. I can make one for the family this weekend.
Bindu ThomasJune 14, 2019 at 3:16 am
Never seen or tasted anything like this. This is a must-try.
Mhmd BilaniJune 14, 2019 at 6:53 am
Ohh now that’s something I’m willing to eat every now and then! 😍
DeborahJune 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm
Oh wow, this looks so delicious!! This would look amazing on a charcuterie board at a party! I’m definitely going to make it this weekend!
Marjie MareJune 14, 2019 at 11:54 pm
I definitely have to make this wonderful dessert. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
coollifeJune 14, 2019 at 11:56 pm
as a good cook i have always search for where to upgrade my standard in cooking
CheszJune 15, 2019 at 1:37 am
Wow. This recipe is new to me, I eat pomegranates and thia seems interesting.
Samantha FloresJune 15, 2019 at 2:18 am
Yum! My husband loves pomegranate! Will have to try this out for him one day.
annJune 15, 2019 at 3:36 am
I learned so much on this site, never heard recipes before are interesting and a must try! Thanks Vaishali
AkritiJune 15, 2019 at 3:58 am
Wow this looks really exotic! In the states we don’t really get pomegranate that easy, so that’s exotic in itself and then the cheese ball!
HolliJune 15, 2019 at 11:19 am
Wow this recipe looks amazing! I wish i was a better cook! I may need to take the time to learn !!
Danielle WahlstromJune 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm
This looks delicious! Great for hosting parties.