The Force awakens with a goat cheese ball blended with basil, parsley and lemon, then studded with a pistachio-coriander mixture. We mold some of the cheese mixture over apple slices for the ears and suggest serving any extra slices with the final cheese ball that bears a striking resemblance to one of the most prolific Star Wars characters of all time.
It's important to insert Yoda's cheese-molded apple ears into his head just before serving, because they become soft from the cheese and tend to droop if done more than one hour in advance. (Remember: Do or do not; there is no try.) Good luck, young Jedis, and may the Force be with your Yoda-carving skills.
And after you've made your cheese ball, make sure to peruse the best Star Wars-inspired food on the internet.
Yoda Cheese Ball
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 35 minutes, plus chilling time
⅓ cup roasted, salted pistachios
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch flaky sea salt
8 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves
¼ cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (½ lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (½ lemon)
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
Two ¼-inch-thick large Honeycrisp apple slices
2 pine nuts
Straggly celeriac root pieces (1 small celeriac, optional)
1 baguette, sliced, or assorted crackers, to serve
1. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios, coriander and oregano until finely chopped. Transfer to a small serving plate and toss with the sea salt.
2. In the food processor, add the goat cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, olive oil, basil, parsley, lemon juice and zest, and mix until green and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the chives and onion flakes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cheese ball mixture for Yoda's ears and mold the remaining cheese mixture into a ball for his head, with the top slightly pointed and narrower than the base. Wrap both cheese mixtures in plastic wrap and chill until firm, 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
3. Twenty-five minutes before ready to serve, sculpt each apple slice, using a sharp paring knife, into the shape of Yoda's ear, about 3 inches long. Mold half of the small reserved cheese mixture around each ear-shaped apple and transfer to a small plate; freeze until firm, 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, carve 2 round circles as the eyes halfway down the cheese ball and place a pine nut into each hole. Use the excess eye cheese to make Yoda's stout, protruding nose. Use the point of the paring knife to draw a long thin horizontal line for the lips.
5. When Yoda's molded cheese ears are firm, cut out 2 small divots on opposite sides halfway down the left and right sides of the cheese ball and insert an ear into each divot. Sprinkle some of the pistachio mixture over the ears and head. If using the celeriac root pieces, place them above and below each ear for Yoda's hair.
6. Use a fish or offset spatula to lift Yoda onto the pistachio mixture. Serve immediately with the baguette slices or crackers. Enjoy it you will.
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