Creating a Cheese Platter

Sorry for the extended absence for my few but faithful followers! My head’s been in many other places (like watching the Voice and HGTV…hehe). A few weeks ago, our church hosted a fashion night and I was tasked with creating a couple cheese platters as part of a dessert/appetizer buffet. Check out the spread (credit goes to my uber creative friend and fab event planner Jennifer Shin and fellow assistants Liz and EC; this was a lot of work but extremely worthwhile. Watching the KM ladies on the runway dance to gangnam style made for a memorable night!)

We had desserts donated from Champagne bakery at South Coast Plaza, hummus spreads with bell pepper spears, watermelon cubes with ricotta and fresh mint, and the cheese platters.

To create a cheese platter, consider these components:

1. Cheese: sheep’s milk, goat’s milk (with fresh herbs like dill and parsley), and cow’s milk cheese. I used manchego, smoked cheddar, and goat’s milk. I would recommend a gourmet market (like Whole Foods or Bristol Farms) or a cheese shop for high quality and selection. The herbed goat cheese was definitely the clear winner of the night.

2. Fig spread. Even the cashier was saying how popular this item was. It’s so dang good. You can find it at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Trust me, don’t skimp on this one.

3. Fresh fruit. Strawberries and/or grapes complement cheese well.

4. Crackers/bread. I lightly toasted slices of a baguette with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. You can find crackers with toasted seeds/nuts (who knew?).

5. Nuts/dried fruit. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, dried apricot, cranberries, etc. are all good options. It’s not in the picture but I had some toasted almonds, apricots, and crackers on another platter.

6. Optional to include cured meats (prosciutto/salami).

I found some great inspiration on the web for different ideas on composition and presentation:

From the Sprouted Kitchen blog

Cup of Jo blog

Happy Entertaining!

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