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Dismembered Goat Cheese Hand in Beet-Blood Orange Splatter

Time 1 hour, largely unattended
Yields Serves 12
Dismembered Goat Cheese Hand in Beet-Blood Orange Splatter
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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A ghoulish dismembered goat cheese hand has hints of onion-dip deliciousness with the addition of ground nigella seeds. (Along with black peppercorns, they also tint the dead limb a ghastly gray.) The beet purée “blood” coming out of the hand’s wrist balances the savory cheese with the vegetable’s natural sweetness.

You can buy the glove at a supermarket or online or try to free-form sculpt the hand. Nigella seeds, also labeled kalonji or black onion seeds, are available online or in Indian markets.

Goat Cheese Hand
Beet and Orange Blood Splatter
1

Make the hand: Pulse the nigella seeds and peppercorns together in a spice grinder until very finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the goat cheese, 3 tablespoons cream and the salt. Smash and mix together until well mixed. If the mixture is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of cream and mix well until smooth.

2

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch tip or a resealable plastic zip-top bag and snip a ½-inch hole in one corner. Stick the piping tip into the thumb of the glove and squeeze in enough goat cheese to fill it. Repeat with the remaining four fingers, then squeeze the rest into the palm and wrist. Use your fingers to massage and squeeze the goat cheese into the glove to form a realistic hand without any air bubbles or gaps. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

3

Meanwhile, make the splatter: Pulse the beets, garlic, juice and salt in a food processor until very smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4

Take a large spoonful of the beet mixture and splatter it forcefully onto a large serving platter. Transfer the remaining to a serving bowl. Cut the glove open to remove the hand carefully. If a finger breaks off, press it back on. Position the hand on the splatter so that it looks like blood is spurting out of the wrist. Using a toothpick, stick the radicchio slivers into the wrist to resemble arteries and veins.

5

Serve with the chips or crackers, instructing guests to put a little goat cheese and beet splatter on each serving.

Make Ahead:
The hand in the glove and the beet purée can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days before serving.