Start the holidays off right with an Italian Cheese Log, a festive Christmas appetizer!
It’s like an antipasto dish in a dip shape, with minced salami, olives, peppers, green onions, Italian spices, and sun-dried tomato on top.
A fantastic quick, make-ahead, budget-friendly alternative to pricey cheese platters — and full of Christmas happiness!!!
Appetizer Ideas For The Christmas Season!
With this beautiful Italian Cheese Log, you can spread some Christmas happiness!!
It’s not your typical cheeseball with a few flavorings thrown in for good measure.
This one has a lot of flavors. it’s full of Italian flavors!!
Finely sliced salami and sun-dried tomato are the critical components in this dish. Taking the effort to mince the salami ensures that it is evenly distributed throughout the cheese log — no one wants to be the one who scoops a large scoop of dip only to discover it is devoid of salami!
I considered placing the sun-dried tomato in the cheese log, but I couldn’t resist how beautiful it looked when heaped on top. It seems so incredibly festive with a few sprigs of rosemary — it’s the ideal Christmas appetizer for sharing!!
Why Is This Essential In Your Life?
It’d be simple to go on and on about how fantastic this Italian Cheese Log is, but you don’t need me to. So let me go right to why you’re going to adore this!!
- Looks fantastic – a terrific Christmas appetizer to share!
- Tastes fantastic and is jam-packed with flavor!
- Prepare ahead of time – it will keep for up to a week*.
- It makes a lot of stuff.
- However, it may be scaled down.
- Cheese platters may be pricey, so this is a cost-effective option.
- Adaptable & adaptable! To make it vegan, omit the salami and switch up the toppings!
An Antipasto Platter In The Form Of A Cheese Log!
- I adore the colors in this piece. Even creating it adds on the festive spirit – look at all those vibrant colors!???
- Salami, olives, chargrilled peppers (I prefer to use the jar with mixed colors – yellow and red – for added color), cheese, and a lovely touch of freshness from chopped green onion
- Add a generous amount of Italian seasonings – I prefer to make my essential mix here, but you can certainly use an Italian seasoning mix – then mix everything, scrape it into a loaf pan or freeform into the shape of a log, and chill.
- Refrigeration is used to harden it up so that it may be turned out onto a dish and to allow the flavors to blend. It’s incredible the first time you make it, but it’s even better the next… and the next… and the next!
An Easy Festive Look
My favorite part is decorating it, and the best thing is that it’s so simple!!
I pour a whole jar of sun-dried tomatoes — oil and everything – over the top.
The oil has a distinct flavor and is an integral element of the dining experience. So you’ve got crunchy salty crackers, a soft flavor-packed Cheese Log, some extra bursts of flavor from sun-dried tomato, and juiciness from sun-dried tomato oil in every mouthful.
Oh my goodness, it’s the perfect bite!!!
If your crowd is more polite than mine, serve the Italian Cheese Log with miniature cheese knives for spreading on crackers.
If your guests are anything like mine, you’ll forego the silverware and let them dig in with their hands, grabbing crackers and dipping them right into the cheese log.
Yes, it’ll be chaos. They’re going to demolish it after all your effort in prettifying it.
And that’s just OK. Isn’t that what food sharing is all about? Particularly around the holiday season!
Log Of Cheese:
- 500g/1 pound softened cream cheese (Note 1)
- a third of a cup of sour cream (Note 2)
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning OR 1/2 tsp thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder, salt, and red pepper/chilli flakes, each (adjust to taste)
- 2 cup freshly grated cheddar or other cheese (Note 3)
- roasted peppers, drained and coarsely chopped (280g / 9 oz)
- 180g / 6 oz coarsely sliced salami (Note 4)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped green olives
- 1/3 cup finely minced green onion (3 – 4 stalks)
- sun-dried tomato strips with OIL (about 220g / 7 ounce), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or chives)
- sprigs of rosemary (decoration)
- For serving, jazz or other crackers
- Coat a loaf pan with oil and cover with cling film, leaving an overhang.
- Combine the ingredients for the Cheese Log. Adjust the salt to taste if necessary (bear in mind the saltiness of crackers you are serving with).
- Scrape into a loaf pan and smooth out the top, squeezing out any air pockets. The taller the loaf, the smaller the pan.
- Refrigerate for four hours+ after covering with cling wrap overhang (up to 1 week).
- Remove the cling film and turn it out onto a plate.
- Add a sun-dried tomato on top and drizzle with olive oil. To add a festive touch, garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs.
- Serve at room temperature rather than cold from the fridge. Serve with crackers if desired. Knives aren’t necessary for smearing; it’s soft enough to scoop with crackers.
Notes About The Recipe:
- Philadelphia blocks of cream cheese are only available in tubs in the United Kingdom and several parts of Europe, and it is softer than spreadable cream cheese. If you can only get spreadable sour cream, avoid it.
- Sour cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise I forgot to include it in the movie and had to do so afterward, off-camera! It’s just to loosen the mixture somewhat, making it easier to scoop with crackers.
- Cheese – any flavorful, melting cheese such as cheddar, delicious, Swiss, gruyere, pepper jack, or Emmenthal will do. Use Asiago, an Italian cheese, for a truly genuine Italian experience. Mozzarella isn’t necessary for a meal like this because it lacks flavour. Freshly grated cheese is preferable since the strands are more delicate and mix in better. Store-bought grates are typically chunkier; if pre-shredded, give it a rough chop.
- Salami – I prefer it hot! I buy the deli’s giant circular presliced salami since it’s easier to cut (see video). Salami has a strong flavour profile and is a crucial component in this dish.
- Freeform – Scrape onto cling wrap and shape into a log with your hands. Twist the ends and roll up like a sausage. Continue to twist the ends of the log to tighten it and smooth out the contour. Refrigerate it, then re-mould it after it has cooled.
- Make it your own! Replace any of the add-ons with whatever you desire. To make it vegan, omit the salami and replace it with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (will give it a great flavour punch). Other alternatives include artichokes, capers, any different sort of olive you like, finely chopped pickles/gherkins, and any other pickled vegetable or antipasto. Cooked chorizo, crumbled bacon, or even ham, finely diced!