With summer approaching fast (at least here in Dubai), my appetite for no-bake and no-cook dishes, bits and bites increases proportionally to the growing heat.  We already had around 45C/113F the other day. Although we all live in air-conditioned houses, shop in air-conditioned malls and drive around in air-conditioned cars, I often don’t feel like heavy and hot foods. On more than one occasion I threw ambitious dinner plans overboard and simply served a refreshing salad and sandwiches, or crackers and veggie sticks with a dip.

These little balls fit the bill perfectly for the hot summer months. I felt like making goat cheese at home the other day, for no specific purpose. It was sitting there, next to a bunch of big olives and I thought they would go well together. The pistachio coating gives an extra crunch. While I was making these (believe me, every other ball disappeared straight into my mouth) I realized that a sweet and fruity filling would be as good. Grapes and cheese are a well-known combo and they don’t fail to deliver here. I couldn’t say which one I like more: the sweet or the savory. I know one thing: these will be a hit at any party, picnic or potluck.


1 cup goat cheese (chevre)*
25 pitted green olives (best quality you can find) OR
25 big grapes (either green or red)
1/2 cup pistachios
* make goat cheese at home – recipe here
Yields ca. 25 balls

In a dry pan, roast the pistachios for 5 minutes or so, shaking the pan regularly to avoid burned spots. Let cool a little. Chop finely and transfer to a shallow bowl.

Take about a teaspoon of goat cheese and cover one olive/grape with it. If you use homemade goat cheese, it will be a pretty clean affair, as the goat cheese will have the texture of soft plasticine. Roll each goat cheese ball in the finely chopped roasted pistachios. Keep in the fridge until serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.


  1. Mmm, pistachios and goat cheese is such a good combination!

  2. Beautiful photos and a well-deserved Top 9. Love the sound of these cheese balls. I predict that these will be served somewhere near me with a glass of chilled white wine.

    Can’t imagine living in those temperatures. It’s about 14C here at the moment and that passes for Summer!

  3. simple but agreed, perfect for the summer! Such a unique finger food too, thanks for sharing, love love love chevre!

  4. That looks great! I just love goat cheese.

  5. Hi Anja. I can NOT wait to try this recipe but argghhh, I will have to as I’ve got no grapes and no time to seek any (I live in Spain where most shops are closed on Sunday).

    PS: It is utterly freaky how many times I’m browsing on foodgawker and I click a recipe that ends up being yours! you seem to be my foodsoul mate! lol

  6. @ Carolita
    this is such a nice thing to say. Thanks so much. You make my day. I was just reading your comment very proudly to my husband!!

  7. these are so much better than cheese stuffed goat balls too.

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