One of the many great things about being welcomed into a French family is the introduction to French food, particularly to cheese. Before I had met my husband, my taste buds for cheese were limited to cheeseburgers and margarita pizza. Now, I can confidently differentiate the various textures, flavours and strength of most cheeses.
One of my favorite things to do is to put together a beautiful cheese platter and experiment with different cheeses and accompaniments. It’s a great weeknight dinner alternative and an easy go-to solution when entertaining guests.
I’ve narrowed down my preferences, and what goes well with what, so I thought I’d share with you my tips on how to create an epic cheese platter. It’s an easy yet impactful entertaining menu this holiday season.
You don’t need a large variety of cheeses; a beautiful cheese platter is all about a well-rounded presentation of textures and flavors. Here’s how I do it:
Step 1: CHEESE IS THE FOUNDATION.
Depending on the size of your guests, start by picking out 3 or 4 variety of cheeses with different textures. I personally serve soft (brie, camembert), semi-soft (blue cheese, goat cheese) and semi-hard (tomme, petit basque). Don’t be afraid to taste before buying to determine the kind of texture and strength works for you or your guests.
Step 2: DELI MEAT AND CHEESE IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA.
Deli meat and cheese is a match made in cheese heaven. It also provides body and substance to the platter. Prosciutto goes well with a hard cheese like Parmesan and thinly sliced salami or saucisson goes well with pretty much anything. Have 1 or 2 option of deli meat in the cheese platter.
Step 3: ACCOMPANIMENT IS THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE
It’s best to have something salty like olives, something sweet like honey and fruits (pears, figs, or grapes) and something crunchy like nuts and cornichon. My favorite part of a cheese platter is the accompaniments because I can mix and match to come up with a killer combo. So far nothing tops semi-hard cheese with saucisson and cornichon or Brie with pear and pecan. Yum!
Step 4: BREAD IS THE VEHICLE
The last thing is, of course, the bread to put all of these things on! A plain or sea salt cracker should be a staple and thinly sliced crostini.
If you don’t have a cheese board or slate, you can easily use a chopping board or a tray as a cheese platter.
Voila! Give it a go and take a picture of your magnificent cheese platter and tag me on Facebook or Instagram.