- 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, minced finely
- 2 garlic gloves, minced finely
- 4 tbsp Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup Italian blend cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Add the cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic and 3 tbsp olive oil to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Add the Italian cheese blend and Parmesan cheese and continue mixing until well combined and binding together.
- Shape into a large ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium sauté pan over low heat.
- Add the bread crumbs and stir constantly until they are golden brown.
- Remove from heat add the crumbled bacon and cool completely.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out a bite-sized ball of cheese. roll in your hands until evenly rounded and then roll the cheese ball in the toasted breadcrumbs…pressing in to get them to adhere.
- Set the finished cheese balls on the baking sheet.
- Chill until ready to serve.
From “Branch and Vine: Love and deliciousness from the Olive Oil Store,” by Mango Dragonfly