Cheese Tray

cheese-plateAs much as I love to cook, play with recipes, and wander along the grocery aisles (or wine section) looking for inspiration, occasionally, I just don’t want to cook.

On those days, I make a cheese plate. I tend to prefer sheep and goat cheeses and try to balance hard and soft cheeses, though I’m a sucker for the soft cheeses. Four varieties seems to be the perfect cheese balance. I think a good assemblage should also include a vegetable something, often a tapanade, olives are always a must, and adding a couple of complimentary proteins, like salami or hummus or nuts, round out the plate well. Add a character-full wine, and you’ve got a filling, interesting dinner for very little effort.

Our choice was a bottle of David Girard Vineyards 2008 Coda Rouge. Its cedar/vanilla nose led to a glass of minerals and dark cherry. The lovely wine, the amazing cheese combo, and a moonlight-filled evening watching “The Spoils of Babylon” made for a pretty incredible Friday night.

This was what I assembled:

Cheese Tray

  • Difficulty: super easy
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serves 2

1.5 ounces Drunken Goat® cheese
1.5 ounces Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor®
3 ounces Fromagerie Guilloteau™ Pavé d’Affinois™
2 ounces of Point Reyes Toma
4 ounces of salami, sliced thinly
2 spoonfuls of black olive and garlic hummus
4 spoonfuls of sun-dried tomato tapanade (I actually made my own by throwing a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil into the food processor and pulsing a few times. It would have been smashing with a few Kalamata olives thrown in, too.)
8 green olives, stuffed with garlic
8 green olives, stuffed with red pepper

I served the collection with my favorite gluten-free crackers, Blue Diamond’s Artisan Multiseed Nut Thins.

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