|Nothing beats a well-composed cheese, fruit & nut|
plate for easy entertaining or a light summer appetizer for two!
I had always assumed that assembling a cheese plate was arbitrary. There are no hard-and-fast rules per se, but it turns out that there is a general method that most cheese experts recommend following. The key word when making your cheese plate is variety! Make sure to provide a range of textures and flavors on your plate. Many experts recommend choosing among the following categories of cheese: aged, soft, firm, semi-soft, and blue. The recommended number of categories is 3-6, depending on the number of people you’re serving. Since I made a plate for Michael and I to share, the cheese plate I’m sharing today is composed of the following three categories:
Other popular methods of composing a cheese plate/display include picking one kind of milk (cow, sheep, or goat)...or even a specific country/region...to feature. Once the cheese is on the platter, it’s time to pick your accompaniments. I included pistachios, dried apricots, thin baguette rounds, and a really nice raspberry-chipotle sauce. Simply arrange everything nicely on a platter (for 1-2 people), or cutting board (for larger groups). Make sure to take the cheese out of the fridge about an hour before serving so it can come to room temperature. That will ensure the flavors of the cheeses are able to reach their full potential.
|This cheese plate has a little bit of everything! Clockwise, from the top: goat cheese, pistachios,|
manchego, baguette slices, fresh mozzarella sprinkled with sea salt & cracked pepper, and dried apricots.
In the middle is a raspberry-chipotle spread.
|Each person can serve themselves a bit of each item from the platter|
onto individual serving plates. Don't forget the wine!