EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 31, 2014

A cheesy but regal appetizer

By Times Staff
The Eagle-Tribune

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Instead of heading for the grocery aisle for your party or game day appetizers (do you really know how long they’ve been sitting around?), how about treating your guests regally?

This simple appetizer contains the finest Italian cheeses, including what chef Mary Ann Esposito calls the “King of Cheese,” Parmigiano reggiano.

According to the star of PBS’s “Ciao Italia,” the longest-running cooking show on television, if you have quality ingredients, you’ve got it made. Once you have tasted the best, freshest cheese, you will never go back to inferior cheese copies, as you will discover when you make these delectable appetizers, made from four of the finest Italian cheeses: ricotta, Gorgonzola dolce, fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

So take this lesson from the Italian cheese experts, and bring authenticity and superior flavor to your antipasto party or game day get-together. Nothing could be simpler or more satisfying for both you and your guests. As you will see in the video, simply mix the four cheeses together, chill, roll into balls and finally roll in your favorite chopped nuts.

Little Cheese Balls

The freshest cheeses are best!

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

2 ounces fontina (genuine Italian fontina is best)

4 ounces walnuts or other nuts of choice, finely chopped.

1. Combine all four cheeses in a bowl; cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, so the mix will have the proper consistency for rolling.

2. Make small balls with your hands and roll in the nuts.

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Recipe courtesy of “Ciao Italia.”