Everyone loves a Cheese platter. I know French people do. A famous French philosopher, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, once said “A meal without some cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye”. That says it all.
I find that a Cheese platter is a great way to welcome your guests in style. So how can you turn a cheese & cracker spread into a gourmet platter?
- Like any good cheese platter, start with some crackers (I used plain water crackers here, but feel free to experiment with different flavours – cracked pepper, sesame seed, etc).
- Choose your favourite type of cheese – from a soft cheese like Brie or Camembert, to a harder cheese like Edam or vintage Cheddar. Depending on how many people you are catering for, try and have more than one type of cheese, and mix up the textures and flavours. I personnally like to add a sweet apricot and almond cream cheese.
- Then add a dip or two, and make sure you get one with a bit of colour; after all, we do eat with our eyes! I have used a classic basil pesto dip in this platter (pictured here), but quite often also enjoy a bright beetroot or sweet potato and cashew dip.
- Now think of adding some different shapes to your platter. I like to use a couple of cheese twists, but you could add Grissini sticks, or explore a little further and add some nuts (walnuts, pistachios or a handful of mixed nut trail) or fruit (strawberries, grapes, figs or dates).
- Also think about adding some fresh elements to your platter to help cleanse your palate. I have used some fresh baby roma tomatoes (you can also use cherry tomatoes), fresh basil leaves and bambini (milk cherries) Bocconcini. Guests wrap the Bocconcini and tomato in the basil leaf for a make-it-yourself Caprese explosion in their mouth – you can also serve with some sticky balsamic reduction squeezed over the cheese, or put some in a ramekin for people to dip into.
Display all on a big cheese or chopping board, and there you have it! You’ve transformed a basic cheese spread into a quick, visually appealing and tasty platter for your next party or BBQ.
If you feel you need to make it a more substantial antipasto platter, add some olives, grilled zucchini & eggplant, salami, smoked ham, chipolata sausages and grilled lamb cutlets. The sky’s the limit!