Growing up my mom was semi-famous for a cheese ball she would make around the holidays. This was a staple at family gatherings and I still look forward to having her prepare it for Christmas dinner. Even though I have her exact recipe, somehow it always tastes just a little better when she makes it.
The combination of pineapple, green pepper, onion, and seasonings might seem a bit odd at first glance, but it combines to be an amazing cheese ball. Decorated with some plain almonds and fresh rosemary sprigs, this cheese ball would look right at home on any holiday table. To make it even more festive, consider adding some finely diced orange or red bell pepper to color-coordinate with the season.
Use a mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the seasoning salt and mix to combine. Stir in the green pepper, onion, and pineapple. If the mixture is too soft to shape at this time, cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.
Optional: Shape the mixture into a tapered wedge like a pine cone. Starting at the bottom of the tapered end, press the almonds into the cream cheese so they stick out at an angle. Work in rows, slightly overlapping the almonds. Garnish with fresh rosemary springs, cover, and refrigerate (the longer the better to allow flavors to meld).
Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced veggies. We especially enjoy it with crispy wheat crackers.
A former member of CROPP’s Sustainability Department, Annie has relocated to Indiana but remains a CROPPie at heart. Annie has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and continues to work in the field of environmental sustainability. When she and her yellow lab Boomer aren't outside exploring local hiking trails, Annie can usually be found in the kitchen. While she cooks for subsistence, Annie’s real passion lies in creating indulgent baked goods for friends and family.