I’m going old-school with this recipe.
Circa the ’90s with these delicious pistachio-crusted goat cheese balls.
(The closest recipe I could find on FoodNetwork.com was from the year 2000 😉 )
I’m not sure why goat cheese balls ever left the scene… cause they’re amazing.
I was totally conflicted when developing this recipe about whether I should pan fry the goat cheese balls & make them warm & gooey, or whether I should leave them cool & fresh.
Although I absolutely love fried goat cheese, I went with the later to help balance out the roasted flavors of the beets and butternut squash.
To make things more interesting, I also added a nice kick of fresh minced thyme to the pistachio coating. It bumps up volume & adds another layer of flavor to each yummy cheesy bite.
This recipe is totally impressive & hits all the right notes (salty, sweet, savory, yum).
It makes a great light supper when served with some creamy tomato soup topped with croutons. Mmm.
What do you think? Do you still love goat cheese balls?? Let me know in the comments below.
Butternut Squash & Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese
- 2 cups of butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 cups of peeled beets, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- Drizzle of olive oil, for roasting
- Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, for seasoning
- 1 cup roasted salted shelled pistachio pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 10 oz log of goat cheese
- 8 oz herb salad mix mixed baby greens with fresh herbs
- Juice of 1/2 large lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Freshly shaved parmesan cheese optional, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butternut squash on one half of a large rimmed baking sheet, and place the beets on the other half. Drizzle the squash & beet with olive oil & season with kosher salt & ground black pepper. Use your hands to mix the butternut squash & evenly coat with oil & seasoning. Then do the same for the beets (don't do the beets first or you'll turn all the squash red!).
- Place the baking sheet in the oven & roast the squash & beets for 40 minutes, or until the beets are fork tender. Remove from the oven & set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep the goat cheese balls. Place the pistachios in a mini food processor & grind until finely chopped (you can hand chop them if you don't have a food processor). Place in a small bowl & toss with the fresh thyme.
- Form the fresh goat cheese into 16 evenly sized balls (there will be 4 balls per salad serving). Roll the balls in the pistachio-thyme mixture, & set aside on a plate. Reserve the leftover pistachio mixture for sprinkling on the salads when serving.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, shallot, extra virgin olive oil, salt, & pepper. Place the herb salad mix in a large bowl & drizzle lightly with dressing (just enough to lightly coat). Use your hands to toss the salad & evenly coat.
- Divide the salad amongst 4 serving plate. Top with 1/4th of the beets and butternut squash, 4 goat cheese balls, & some fresh shaved parmesan cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with extra pistachio-thyme mixture & drizzle with some more dressing. Serve immediately. (It makes a great meal served with some warm tomato soup)