Artichoke and Olive Cheese Ball

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- The Artichoke and Olive Cheese Ball brings tastes of the Mediterranean to the holiday table.
Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- The Artichoke and Olive Cheese Ball brings tastes of the Mediterranean to the holiday table.

corinne Cook

Artichoke and Olive Cheese Ball

Makes a 4-inch ball. Recipe is by Corinne Cook.

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese

4 ozs. goat or feta cheese

4 tbls. butter

3 pods garlic, finely minced

1 or 2 tbls. prepared pesto sauce

¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives

2⁄3 cup artichoke bottoms or hearts, drained and chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste

2⁄3 cup chopped pecans, roasted if desired

Crackers or bread of choice

1. Have cheeses and butter at room temperature.

2. In medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses, butter, garlic and pesto sauce together and stir until well blended.

3. Stir in olives and artichokes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco sauce. Taste to check for seasoning; you may need to add more.

4. If cheese is too soft, refrigerate for 30-40 minutes and shape as you like. Cover completely with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Before serving, roll in chopped, roasted pecans and place on serving platter with crackers or bread .