PARTNER POST – Be inspired to create beautiful cheese boards with Castello cheese. And what goes better with cheese than wine? Enter to win a trip for two to Napa, California.
Spring has almost sprung! Get in the spirit with refreshing ingredients to create a stunning spring cheese board complete with pickled fennel.
My cheese board theme was ‘Fresh — Think spring! Fruits and veggies, bright colors.’ March 20th is the first day of spring, so we’re almost there. Hoping for an early spring.
For my spring inspired cheese board, I’ve included:
Cheese — use an assortment of cheese (soft, semi-hard, hard, marinated)
Fruit/Vegetables/Nuts — don’t be afraid to add some color
- pickled fennel
- pea pesto
- pea tendrils
- watermelon radish
- sliced apples
- green and black olives
- Marcona almonds with rosemary
- Other suggestions: seasonal fruit (grapes, orange slices, berries, figs, etc.)
Meats — can’t go wrong with cured meats (or even smoked fish)
- pork pate with pistachios
- hot soppressata
- Other suggestions: thinly sliced prosciutto or country ham
Condiments — don’t forget the honey (a little something sweet pairs well with cheese)
- Other suggestions: fruit preserves/jams/chutneys (see video below for a sweet and spicy carrot chutney)
Of course these are just suggestions, include all or some, or whatever suits your taste.
What else would you include on your spring-inspired cheese board?
Castello’s artisan cheesemakers have been hand crafting cheese since 1893. They currently make more than 40 different types of cheese, from tangy blue to complex aged Havarti. Their cheeses are deliciously balanced and come together to create a gourmet cheese board.
Now head over to Castello and enter to win trip for two full of wine and cheese Napa! Enter here.
Plus, try making this sweet and spicy carrot chutney, another delicious addition to a cheese board.
- 2 medium bulbs of fennel
- 1 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Equipment: 2 (pint-size) sterile canning jars
- ¾ cup semolina
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup rye flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
- Thinly slice the fennel lengthwise (a mandoline works well or you can slice by hand).
- In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil.
- In a dry sauté pan, toast the coriander, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Divide the spices among the jars. Add the sliced fennel. Pour the brine over the fennel leaving about ½-inch space at the top.
- Let the fennel cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It's best to give the fennel at least a day to pickle.
- Note: You can add orange and/or lemon peel to the jars.
- Preheat the oven with a pizza stone at 450F.
- In a large bowl, mix the semolina, whole wheat and rye flours. Add the salt, pepper, and olive oil and mix. Slowly add the water, while mixing the dough. Once the dough comes together, transfer to a clean work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic and rest 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into quarters. Take a piece of dough and run it through a pasta roller to the fourth setting (you can also roll by hand). You can slice the crackers into strips or you can keep them a bit misshapen and rustic looking.
- I lined a pizza paddle with parchment for easy transport. Place the crackers on the parchment and transfer to the pizza stone (parchment and all). Bake until lightly browned and crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Note: You can add fresh/dried herbs (e.g., thyme, rosemary) or other spices (e.g., red chile flakes) to the dough.