From casual to fine dining, cheese plates are appearing on more and more menus. A cheese course can be offered at the bar, before the meal, or even as an elegant alternative to dessert. Explore these helpful tips, inspiring recipes, and instructional videos to make cheese plates a highlight of your menu.
Assorted firm olives, such as Castelvetrano and Kalamata
Pickled artichoke hearts, drained
Roasted yellow squash
Fresh mint leaves, chopped
Fresh Italian parsley leaves
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Tuscan bread, sliced
Olive oil with red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove the ends from the yellow squash and slice into spears. Toss the spears with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper in a bowl, and arrange slices on a baking tray. Roast the squash until the spears and garlic start to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and sprinkle with fresh chopped mint. Set aside.
Imagine a clock face on a large, round serving platter. Beginning at 12 o’clock, overlap about 4–5 thin slices of capicola at the edge of the platter, followed by a portion of roasted red peppers. Working your way around the edge of the platter, at 3 o’clock, overlap about 4 slabs of Mozzarella, followed by separate portions of artichoke hearts and olives. At approximately 6 o’clock, heap a serving of Gorgonzola cut into bite-sized cubes, and then arrange about 4–5 thin slices of overlapping salami. Between the salami and capicola, add spears of roasted yellow squash.
In the center of the platter, arrange equal portions of sliced Bel Paese, Ciliegine, and sliced assorted cherry tomatoes. Scatter fresh Italian parsley and basil leaves over the platter as a pretty garnish.
Serve your antipasto cheese plate with slices of Tuscan bread, flatbread crackers, and dipping bowls of olive oil served with red pepper flakes.