To know me, is to know how much I love cheese. Now I don’t mean your everyday, “I’m going to throw it on a sandwich” cheese. I’m talking about cheese that’s been aged for years and cultivated to perfection.
When it comes to fromage when I’m dining out, I’ve experienced some amazing cheese platters. However, Eataly in NYC and Varga Bar in Philly take the cake. Varga Bar is well known for their great beers and amazing dishes. However, they have an out-of-this-world cheese platter. Each cheese is served with several condiments, ranging from truffle honey to garlic dulce de leche to rootbeer caramel. Combine this with a chunk of Moses Sleeper and fresh baguette- and it’s a match made in heaven. La Piazza at Eataly on the other hand, serves you a platter of cured meats and several different cheeses. Along with almond honey, candied orange peel, and figs- it’s to die for.
When I’m entertaining friends I always make sure to have a great cheese board or delicious crostini. This recipe will give you the best of both worlds. I’ve chosen a few classic cheeses to get your palate warmed up to the beauty of cheese.
There are no rules to creating a cheese board, but I prefer going with a hard cheese, a soft cheese, and a blue cheese. First, I thinly sliced a loaf of ciabatta, this airy bread will give you the perfect size crostini to stack your favorite ingredients on. Next I chose a few cheeses; Roquefort, French Brie, Pecorino Romano, and Goat Gouda. Roquefort for the tangy blue, Brie for the creamy pungent soft cheese, Pecorino for a nice salty bite, and Goat Gouda for a change of pace. Next, I added my favorite cured meat; Prosciutto di Parma, it’s perfectly salty and goes nicely with any of the cheeses. Finally, I sprinkled a few dried figs, pecans, and dried cranberries- these will add the sweet and nutty components to your platter. With all of this potential at hand, the flavor combinations are endless.
The Cheese Board
1 loaf Ciabatta
1 chunk Goat Gouda
1 chunk Roquefort
1 chunk Pecorino Romano
1 chunk French Brie
1/4 pound Prosciutto
Preheat your broiler for a few minutes. Thinly slice your loaf of Ciabatta, and drizzle the slices with olive oil. Place the slices onto a baking sheet. Place it under the broiler for one minute per side.
Place the cheeses, nuts, and dried fruit on the board.