Cheese-Stuffed Olives

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Yield: Makes 24 Servings

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Pre-dinner snacks serve two purposes: They should be salty enough to encourage cocktail drinking but have enough heft to temper the alcohol’s effects. These deliver on both fronts.

Ingredients

2 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon finely chopped tender herbs (such as thyme, chives, marjoram, and/or parsley)

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

24 pitted Cerignola or other large green olives

3 sprigs thyme

2 dried red chiles (such as chiles de árbol)

2 wide strips lemon zest

½ cup olive oil

Instructions

Mix goat cheese, Parmesan, herbs, garlic, and lemon juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (or use a resealable plastic bag and snip one corner of bag open with scissors). Pipe mixture into olives.

Place olives, thyme sprigs, chiles, and lemon zest in a shallow dish and pour oil over top.

Do Ahead: Olives can be marinated 4 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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