Seven things your Cheese Platter is Missing

Ok so you want to make a gorgeous Cheese Platter; you want it to be over-the-top, memorable, instagram-able, check all the boxes. Well, today I wanted to share a few ingredients that many of us don’t think to include, and are SO GOOD that you must give them a go on your next cheese platter venture {like… this weekend!}.

Here they are…

#1 Gigante Beans

Find them in the olive bar section of Whole Foods… they are actually a popular appetizer item in Greek restaurants! They are big white beans in a vinegar and oil marinade with small roasted sweet peppers and other herbs; these protein packed bites are delicious alongside cheeses. Serve them cold in a small bowl with toothpicks for guests to taste test!

# 2 Peppadew Red Peppers

Also located in the olive bar, these sweet piquante peppers have a sweet meets sour kick, plus add the perfect pop of color to your platter. Serve in a small bowl or directly on your platter with a small spoon for guests to place on their appetizer plate. Warning… some can be spicy!

# 3 Stuffed Olives

Everyone loves olives, so think outside the box and splurge on a fancy stuffed olive. From blue cheese to garlic to almonds, I recommend trying them all {oh, and throw these fancy oversized olives in a dirty martini and you will be scoring real points!}. I usually place one small bowl of classic pit-less olives and then a second bowl with a more unique find. Serve with tooth picks!

# 4 The Right Selection of Cheeses

Now to make your cheese platter GREAT you will need a variety of cheeses – one hard, one soft, and one somewhere in between. For hard I like Manchego, Parmigiana Reggiano and Pecorino, for soft I like Brie, St Andre, Cambozola and Boursin, and for medium you can never go wrong with Aged Manchebo or Gruyère. I usually stay away from anything “stinky” – yes, cheese can be stinky, or blue cheese, because those cater to a very specific taste! Once you have your cheeses, place them around the plate, each with their own cheese knife! I recommend drizzling your soft cheese with honey, agave, or fresh jam, and garnishing your hard cheese with a little rosemary or thyme sprig. For cheeses that are really hard, like so hard they are a mess to cut, I recommend doing your best to pre-slice or break into pieces ahead of time. You wouldn’t want your guests to shy away from tasting the cheeses because they are fearful of making a mess!

# 5 Gourmet Crackers

To compliment your cheeses, I always say to have two different types of crackers – one classic and the other a bit more gourmet. For classic, I aways go with Carrs Water Crackers either in classic or fresh cracked pepper. They look pretty and are light on taste, letting your cheese control the flavor of each bite. Then for gourmet, I am loving Raincoasts Crisps, specifically in the Rosemary Raisin Pecan. Packed with nuts, raisins and more, they are delicious on their own or smothered in soft cheese.

# 6 “Fanned” Fruit

No idea what I am talking about? Watch this youTube video with a super easy tutorial. While the fruit is clearly more for display than it is for eating, I will say I do enjoy a little apple or pear slice on top of my cheese to add a hint of sweetness!

# 7 Garnish

Garnish, garnish, garnish with greens – personally I am a thyme person because it’s dainty and smells amazing, but arugula or pretty much any other herb will work, taking a plate from pretty to fabulous.

Last but not least, once you have your cheese selections, I recommend heading to your local wine store and asking the sommelier for recommendations of the perfect pairings. I have even brought my cheeses with me for the sommelier to read the packaging and smell the cheeses. Right now as the weather is warming up, I love rosé {I highly recommend only choosing rosés from Provence for that really light feel!}; Whispering Angel has been my go-to for years!

All that’s left is to set it up your display on a gorgeous platter so see some pretty picks below! Happy Hosting!

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Photography by Yesi of Simply Lively