by Matt of Have Her Over for Dinner
I’ve always been a sucker for dining en plein air – and now that the beautiful spring weather is officially upon us, I thought it prudent to gather up a group of friends for an afternoon twilight hour filled with conversation, wine and, of course, great cheese.
Assembling such a front porch gathering is my favorite form of dining with friends. Instead of slaving away for hours in a kitchen, I like to carefully put together a board of varying ingredients – each delicious in their own right. Be advised, however, that this is not simply an opportunity to clean out the pantry. Rather, I like to put quite a bit of thought into everything that hits my plate.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that your meal (or, in this instance, cheese platter) will only be as good as your ingredients. Inspired by Wisconsin Cheese Cupid’s new Cheese Cinema videos, I started out with a 10-year aged Wisconsin Cheddar and a reserve German-style Wisconsin Blue cheese as my base. Ah, life is good.
From there, I added in some fresh fruit, providing a nice bit of acidity to cut the sharpness of the cheese. Blackberries and kiwi provided a colorful and unique flavor profile to accompany these selections. Of course, I always like to include some local honey to help sweeten the deal.
Finally, I finished everything off with some extra-dry Italian salami along with some toasted bread slices to create the perfect bite to round out this fantastic platter. Serve with either a light pinot noir or an oak-aged chardonnay. You and your guests are sure to enjoy the very best of food, friendship and life. Bon appétit.