Bruschetta Cheese Ball

Ingredients for Cheese Ball:
1 - 5.2 oz. Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
1 - 8 oz. brick cream cheese at room temperature* (See NOTE)
1/4 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped with seeds and flesh removed**
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), chopped, rinsed, dried***
1 Tbsp. Italian Herbs Balsamic
1 tsp. Salt Cellar Oregano Spice Blend
1/8 tsp. Hickory Smoked Pepper

Ingredients for Panko Sun-Dried Tomato Coating
3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. Basil Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, diced, rinsed, dried***

Ingredients for Garnish
1 Roma tomato, chopped (more or less)**
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade (more or less) (optional)

1-2 baguette, sliced into 1/2" slices****
EVOO or Infused Olive Oil of your choice
crackers of your choice

Cheese Ball: Add all of the Cheese Ball ingredients to a large bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined. Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, cover tightly, and shape into a ball. Freeze for 1-2 hours or chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours up to 24 hours.

Panko Sun-Dried Tomato Coating: While the cheese ball is chilling, prepare coating by mixing the panko bread crumbs, basil olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Assemble: When ready to serve, remove cheese ball from freezer/fridge, roll in panko mixture, pressing to adhere, until evenly coated. Garnish with fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve with baguette slices and crackers (optional).

Baguette slices: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 1-2 large baking sheet with baguette slices. Brush top sides of slices with olive oil and flip all the slices over so the olive oil is SIDE DOWN on the baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

Chef's Notes:
*DO NOT microwave cream cheese to soften it or it will be too soft and difficult to form into a ball.

**You just want the firm outer part of the tomato so when you cut your tomatoes, scoop out the inside flesh and seeds so all that remains is the firm part – we don’t want the extra moisture in our cheese ball. After you chop your tomatoes, pat them dry once more with a paper towel.

***Measure the sun-dried tomatoes, then rinse them and squeeze them dry before chopping.

****You can either prepare 1 baguette and supplement with crackers (or Garlic Parmesan Pretzel Crisps are amazing!!) or prepare 2 baguettes and not use crackers/pretzels.

*****This Bruschetta Cheese Ball also makes an incredible spread for bagels or sandwiches!

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