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.
Rather than dried fruits or nuts, incorporate fresh or quick pickled fruit and vegetables to make a refreshing cheese board.
A cheese board is one of the most fun things for me to prepare in the kitchen. I use the term “prepare” loosely as they require no more than a trip to the grocery store and some thoughtful arranging. Castello cheeses are perfect for the task because they are sold in a number of varieties, all of which can be combined to make the ultimate cheese board. In this case, I chose a tangy Danish Blue, an aged Havarti, and a soft Double Creme.
The Farmers’ Markets in Naples are practically bursting at the seams with vibrant produce right now, so rather than opting for a classic dried fruit and nut theme, I kept most of my extras fresh, instead. Think: cheese meets crudité. I picked up baby tomatoes, wax beans, rainbow peppers, asparagus and fresh herbs like basil and dill. I added a homemade dipping oil (recipe below) that works well with the vegetables, and a jar of pickled ramps. I know that some of you are probably turning your nose up at that last addition, but – next to the cheese obviously – these were the star of the show. The pickling process makes the ramps soft and sort of sweet, as it helps to alleviate some of their characteristic bite. Try them!
Once the board was set, I brought out a couple of bottles of Folie à Deux wine. Hailing from Sonoma County, Folie à Deux wines “delight the senses and excite the imagination”. I love that, because I hope – even if in some small way – I can translate that concept here on the blog too. I am going to return to regularly scheduled programming within the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I plan on toasting to my last few days down South, and lots of wine, cheese, and new adventures this Spring!
In honor of spring, Castello is plating up some cheese board goodness of their own, as well as hosting a sweepstakes (<— Enter Here!), in which the prize is a trip for two to Napa Valley!
For another cheese board addition, try this spicy carrot chutney:
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of black pepper
- Using the back of a large knife, or a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and salt together until they form a loose paste. Place the garlic paste in a small bowl with the lemon juice and herbs and stir to combine. Whisk in the olive oil, a little bit at a time, until combined. Finish with black pepper. Serve alongside vegetables or a loaf of crusty bread!