Antipasto Cheeseball Christmas Tree is a showstopper! Move over antipasto platters...this Christmas tree is even better! Not only is this cheeseball full of sun dried tomatoes, red bell peppers, chives and seasonings on the inside, the OUTSIDE is where it gets antipasto serious! Serve it on a platter with cold meats such as salami and prosciutto, PLUS crackers!
Keyword: cheese balls
For The Dip:
1/2cupred bell peppers (or capsicum ),diced
1/4 cupdill pickles, finely diced
Salt,to taste (if desired)
For The Decorations:
1 1/2 - 2cupspitted mixed olives(I use a variety of black, green and Kalamata olives) -- dried with paper towel
1/2cupsun-dried tomatoes,chopped (dried with paper towel)
Rosemary leaves/sprigs to decorate
Ritz, water crackers or pretzels for serving
Salami slices, for serving
Prosciutto slices, for serving
In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the dip and mix until the ingredients are well combined.
Place a piece of non-stick plastic wrap on a clean bench top or work surface. Scoop the cream cheese mixture out onto the plastic wrap and completely cover with another piece of wrap (you may need two pieces to cover it).
Use your hands to mould the cream cheese into a tree shape. Then, carefully pick up the tree with one hand and peel off the plastic wrap on the bottom of the tree with your other hand. Place the tree straight onto a serving plate.
Use a cake spatula to smooth the edges. Decorate with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary leaves/sprigs, lightly pressing each element into the cream cheese to ensure they stay on. Brush with some sun dried tomato oil from the jar (optional but adds even more flavour)!
Top with a star cut out of a yellow or orange bell pepper OR a thick slice of cheese.
Serve with crackers of your choice, salami and prosciutto slices rolled up!ENJOY!
The cream cheese is more stable in a wider tree shape rather than a tall, thin tree. The taller tree folds over and collapses.
If you find your cream cheese has softened too much and won't hold its shape, refrigerate it until it thickens again (about 20 minutes).
Pat dry each olive and sun dried tomato on a sheet of paper towel before decorating your tree to make sure they stay on, or they may slide off if covered in oil from the jar.