The Cannonball

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes:

    7 inch

    cheese ball

Appears in

When we were looking for a new house, Claire Cannon, a charming and ebullient realtor in Blairstown, New Jersey, showed us around the area. I never wanted it to end because she made house hunting so much fun. But Claire quickly found us our dream house and on Christmas of that year invited us to a party at hers. When I tasted this cheese ball, I knew I was going to have to get the recipe because it was so special. Claire said she put in the carrots and celery to make it healthful. Fortuitously, they also contribute a delicious crunch, and the horseradish and onion add the delightful zip that keeps you going back for more. I dubbed it “the cannonball,” not inappropriate for the recipe of such a dynamo.

Chilling time: at least 1 hour
KEEPS: About 3 days refrigerated after which the celery and carrots lose some of their crunch.
room temperature volume ounces/pounds grams/kilograms
cream cheese 2 8-ounce packages 1 pound 454 grams
mayonnaise ¼ cup 2 ounces 54 grams
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated cup 0.5 ounce 15 grams
onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons 0.5 ounce 16 grams
prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon
carrot, finely chopped 2 tablespoons 0.5 ounce 16 grams
celery, finely chopped 2 tablespoons 0.5 ounce 16 grams
salt ½ teaspoon
OPTIONAL: walnuts, chopped medium coarse 1 tablespoon to cups 0.25 to 5 ounces 7 to 142 grams
OPTIONAL: a few large leaves of radicchio, for garnish


In a large mixing bowl or an electric mixer, blend all the ingredients except the nuts. Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap (preferably Saran brand). Bring up the edges of the plastic and using the wrap and your hands, form the mixture into a ball. Place it in a small, deep bowl to help hold its shape and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

If desired, when firm, roll the cheese ball in the cups of chopped nuts to coat evenly, pressing on the nuts to make them adhere. Alternatively, press a few nuts gently into the top. For a dramatic presentation, arrange radicchio leaves on a serving dish and place the cheese ball in the center. Refrigerate until serving time.

NOTE: Lightly toasting the walnuts brings out their flavor. Place the chopped walnuts on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F. oven for about 10 minutes or until their color deepens slightly.