Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Perfect Cheese Platter


If there's one thing I love about being a grown up...and living in my own home, with my husband...it's entertaining.  I love having friends {and family} over to dinner and making it a special evening.  I especially loved it when I was able to indulge in wine {and other alcoholic beverages}, but I digress...

One of my favorite things to do is put together a cheese platter.  There are probably a million different ways to do it too...which makes it fun to experiment.  Here are my tips to create a perfect cheese platter.

First the whole basis of the platter: cheese.  I suggest having 2-3 varieties...usually a soft cheese, stinky cheese and a hard cheese.  My favorite soft cheese is brie, stinky cheese is gorgonzola {or blue cheese}, and hard cheese is parmesan {or some variety of the sort}.  It's always fun to experiment, especially if you have a specialty store nearby.  You may be surprised with what you like!  Also, be sure to bring your cheese to room temperature before serving.  Oh and for those of you wondering...I have the clear to eat soft cheese during my pregnancy...as long as the milk is pasteurized.  Hallelujah to that!

Next, I like to have a garnish with my cheese.  I love fig jam.  It is my absolute favorite and really brings out the best in the cheese.  It adds the perfect sweet to the salt.  

Speaking of sweet and salty...it's nice to have some fresh fruit, like grapes and other fruit.  My favorite is dried apricots.  And for the salty, I love kalamata olives.

Last, make sure you have a couple different options for crackers or bread.  They should be hearty enough to withhold the cheese and bite size.

Arranging it is also fun!  Make sure to have a big platter or cutting board to display everything.  It's nice to have a variety of color, since the cheese can tend to look pretty bland.  I like to add some green leaves to brighten it up.

Some other options I like to include with my cheese platter are:

Marcona Almonds
Prosciutto
Lavender Honey
Oil & Vinegar
Strawberries


What's your favorite cheese platter item?

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

42 comments:

  1. That looks amazing! Not sure if they carry stonewall kitchen products in your area, but I highly suggest the red pepper jelly! It's so good with some Brie, or st. Andre and a slice of apple!

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  2. I do love me some cheese platters! :) This one does look perfect!! I still have never tried fig jam...you've convinced me that I need to try it.

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  3. Love this Natasha! Cheese plates are my fav too but when you're in a rush it's hard to put together a nice diverse platter! I'm going to pin this so I can easily remember :) I am obsessed with brie! could eat it all day long ahh

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  4. Girl you know I love some cheese!! I'm with Lindsay- red pepper jelly lovely. Your platter looks amazing. And those are my favorite crackers!

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  5. Wow, this looks super, almost too good to eat! I will definitely have to try some fig jam with my next platter!

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  6. That DOES look like the perfect cheese platter--now all that is missing is a giant bottle of wine haha--soon (for both of us)

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  7. I love a good cheese plate :) Our favorites are gorgonzola, brie, prosciutto, dried cranberries, crackers, sweet/hot mustard & a touch of honey. The fig jam is also a nice touch, too!

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  8. I LOVE this post!! I think a fabulous cheese plate is the perfect way to make guests feel both at home and special. I've never had fig jam, but I'm dying to try it now!

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  9. I'm not a huge wine drinker but I do enjoy a good glass occasionally. But I found when i was pregnant that was one of the things I missed the most. Maybe it's because some days it just feels like a glass of wine would make everything better.
    The cheese platter looks amazing! Brie is my favorite.

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  10. Cheese and cracker and grape trays are my favorite. You and I definitely share our love for cheese :) SO tasty. And everyone can find something they like on the plate!

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  11. Cheese platters are definitely a favorite of mine too. My two favorite cheeses are Manchego (Spanish sheeps milk cheese) and Drunken Goat (it gets a bath in wine!). And of course fig jam or red pepper jelly!

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  12. This presentation is gorgeous! I love a good cheese platter. They are so fun to throw together. :)

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  13. Great tips because I would have no clue where to start to make a cheese platter. May have to try this soon. Looks amazing and delicious too!

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  14. This looks great! My mom ALWAYS had a cheese platter when company came over. She always put the cheese on fresh Grape Leaves to bring some green to the plate!

    ♥ Ashley

    atparsons.blogspot.com

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  15. Gosh, you are so adorable. What a perfect party platter!

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  16. There is nothing better in life than a good cheese platter! This is beautiful.

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  17. looks perfect! I love fig jam and also use a raw honeycomb on my platters...so tasty! makes me crave a wine and cheese night! ;)

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  18. This is the perfect cheese board. I love this new cheese I've found. It's a blue and brie MIX. Oh yes. AMAZING. Put a little honey on it and oh my goodness! Hee hee. I think if I had to choose a last meal it would be cheese and wine.

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  19. Love this! I'm a huge cheese fanatic. Everytime I go to an Italian restaurant, I order a cheese plate. I think my favorite is blue cheese. Some don't like it because it's so strong, but I love it!

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  20. Beautiful presentation and sounds delicious! You've inspired me! Will have to try fig jam...

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  21. This looks amazing and the presentation is fabulous. I am definitely saving this! xo

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  22. Great post and what a gorgeous tray!! I just pinned it. There is nothing I love more than a fabulous plate of cheese and glass (or bottle) of wine!

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  23. Apple, pear or nectarine wedges are a must on my platter to replace bread and crackers. Still get the "crunch" but a tad bit healthier.

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  24. Such good advice! My all time favorite cheese is Gruyere! Yummy! I also think it's so cute on Pinterest when people use a cheese plate that is a chalkboard so you can write the names of the cheeses next to them! Love it :)

    P.s. I'm having an awesome Anthro giveaway on my blog today.. check it out :)
    http://samisshenanigans.blogspot.com/2012/05/100-follower-giveaway.html

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  25. this looks incredible! I just started loving cheese so much that I'll eat it for dessert - great tips for entertaining!

    itsthelittlethingsblog.blogspot.com/

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  26. my mouth is watering....I could eat this daily!

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  27. As I live in Belgium (huge cheese country) I must include some Belgian chees to my platter: Oude Brugge, Maredsous, Père Joseph, ...

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  28. Oh my gosh. Yes, yes, yes.

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  29. Oh, I love a cheese platter. Have you ever tried the Whichcraft brand at Williams Sonoma ? He has a balsamic onion marmalade that is fabulous with parmesan. You should give it a try.

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  30. Daaaang that looks seriously AMAZING. Mm! And you are one gorgeous pregnant mama :)

    New follower, please stop on by:
    http://penelopeblue.blogspot.com/

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  31. This looks amazing! We often have cheese for dinner! I may have to spruce our cheese plate up a bit! I love fig jam too -- so good!

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  32. That is one beautiful cheese platter Natasha! It is perfect. The fig jam is a nice touch. I have to remember to add a touch of greenery, too. Love that! I bought a really yummy fig jam recently in Sonoma that I am now addicted to. So so good. Have you found a lavender honey that you'd recommend?

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  33. This looks amazing!!! I "pinned" it so I can make it next time we have people over!

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  34. This is right up my alley! We do the same thing over here:) Have you tried Drunken Goat cheese? I think you'll like it!

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  35. I'm all about the kalmata olives! They are so good! And of course any type of cheese :)

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  36. I'm obsessed with cheeses!!! I'm thinking about having a wine and cheese party this summer and want to have several cheese displays. Love your suggestions! THanks.

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  37. look so delish!! such great suggestions!

    xoxo
    kat

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  38. there is nothing i love more than a cheese plate on a cutting board. the cutting board is what gives it the rustic, italian, sitting around and drinking red wine feel!

    have you entered my striped tee giveaway yet?

    http://goodiesandbesties.blogspot.com/2012/05/striped-shirt-giveaway.html

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  39. This looks like heaven on a plate to me- blue cheese is my personal favorite! That's great you can eat soft cheese while you're pregnant, that's one of the things I don't want to have to give up when I get pregnant!

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  40. Fig jam is the best cheese accessory. I love combining it with Humboldt Fog goat cheese. So good!!

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  41. I've been wanting to compose the perfect cheese platter for ages, and this is just the right inspiration! It looks wonderful!

    xx Ivana

    Macarons and Pearls

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