Herb goat cheese poppers: Photo by Kristin Massad

Herb goat cheese poppers: Photo by Kristen Massad

A table covered in gourmet appetizers provides the perfect setting for a spring gathering. At the beginning of this new season, freshen up your menus with bite-size finger food, ideal for sharing or passing. With only five ingredients, herb goat cheese poppers keep it simple and small but full of flavor.

Grocery list
1 (8 ounce) log soft herb goat cheese
1 large egg
½ cup flour
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cups canola oil

1. Place flour, whisked egg and panko breadcrumbs each in individual bowls (do not mix together). Roll goat cheese into 24 balls (1 heaping teaspoon each).
2. Dip each goat cheese ball in flour, dip in egg and roll in panko; place each ball on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a small deep saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees F. Drop goat cheese balls into oil in batches of 4-6 at a time until golden and crisp on the outside. Remove balls with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
4. Serve goat cheese poppers immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.

Optional dipping sauces:
Blackberry honey (pictured)
Marinara sauce
Balsamic reduction
Sweet chili sauce