This Olive and Cheese Ring is a gorgeous antipasto perfect for any holiday party, with marinated olives, herbs, pimentos, and two cheeses.
Cream cheese is a staple in so many Appetizer Recipes, from Cheese Balls to Spinach Artichoke Dip. Today we are giving cream cheese an elegant makeover into a beautiful and simple Mediterranean antipasto.
OLIVE AND CHEESE RING
This Olive and Cheese Ring reminds will remind you of an appetizer recipes shared on this site, Greek Antipasto Skewers. Just like the skewers, this dish looks so fancy your guests will never know it only took you about 15 minutes to create. The ingredients are simple so the key is in the presentation, and even that is easy to do!
Make an Olive and Cheese Ring this year for a beautiful charcuterie board that won’t break the bank. Instead of a large assortment of fancy cheeses, use the herbed marinade to give sharp white cheddar and cream cheese delicious flavor. By using simple cheeses, it allows the olive flavor to really come through.
Easily make a Mediterranean themed dinner with these quick recipes for Falafels and Classic Hummus to serve along side your Cheese and Olive Ring. Serve with One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice for the main dish to round out an easy Greek inspired meal!
For a party appetizer, make an assorted basket with toasted baguettes, pita chips, Naan bread, pretzels chips, and hardy crackers for guests to layer the cheese and olives on. You can also serve this with a Charcuterie board of assorted cured meats, roasted nuts, tapenades, grainy mustard, etc.
Unlike a lot of cream cheese recipes, you do not want your cream cheese to be soft when preparing an Olive and Cheese Ring. If you’ve tried slicing even slightly soft cream cheese, you know the headache of how sticky and messy it can be. Follow the instructions below to get clean, even slices of cream cheese.
Tip for Cutting Cream Cheese:
Pop cream cheese into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before slicing. Get a cup deep enough to fit entire knife blade and fill it with hot, almost boiling, water. Dip knife in hot water, shake off excess water, and make first slice. Continue dunking the knife and shaking it off between slices to keep cream cheese from building up on the blade.
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VARIATIONS ON AN OLIVE AND CHEESE RING
- Cheese: Feta, Manchego, smoked gouda, fresh mozzarella, Chevre (goat cheese), and Monterey jack are all cheeses that taste delicious with olives.
- Meat: Serve cured meats like salami, soppressata, capicola, pancetta, and prosciutto on a separate platter for a build your own charcuterie board.
- Marinade: Enhance your marinade with Mediterranean flavors like capers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, or Greek seasoning.
- Vegetables: Mix up the marinated vegetables in this Cheese and Olive Ring. Use traditional antipasto veggies like roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes, peppadews, pepperoncini, marinated mushrooms, and artichoke hearts.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Milder, nuttier cheeses go best with the fruitiness of olives. The buttery cheeses like Camembert pair lovely with green olives, while tangy cheeses like Chevre and feta go well with Kalmata olives.
An antipasto is type of starter or appetizer found in Mediterranean culture. They are an assortment of marinated vegetables, olives, cheeses, and cured meats, but can include nuts, spreads, or even dried fruit and is usually served with a hearty bread.
Pimentos are a sweet and mild cherry pepper commonly found stuffed inside green olives. Jarred pimentos are also used to make classic dishes like pimento cheese or pimento loaf, or this dressed up Pimento Pasta Salad.
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HOW TO STORE AN OLIVE AND CHEESE RING
- Serve: The cheeses should be stored after 2 hours at room temperature. The olives can last a bit longer but are best cold with the cheese.
- Store: Seal your Olive and Cheese Ring in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this dish. Marinated olives and pimentos will not thaw well after freezing.
- 8 ounces cream cheese , cut into 16 thin slices
- 16 ounces white cheddar cheese , cut into 1/2" thick slices
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley , finely chopped (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pimentos , drained and chopped
- Alternate the cream cheese and cheddar slices in a ring around a dinner sized plate.
- In a decorative small bowl whisk together balsamic, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, salt and pepper.
- Add in the olives and stir to coat well.
- Place the bowl in the middle of your serving plate.
- Top the cheese and the bowl of olives with the remaining parsley and the pimentos just before serving.