Sometimes a great evening starts with last-minute plans. Friends stop by, a bottle of wine is opened and what started out as a quiet evening is suddenly filled with laughter and fun. On these occasions, no one would fault you for simply opening a bag of chips or reaching for a takeout menu, but why not try something a little more creative? With a few easy tricks up your sleeve, you can put together a quick cheese board with items you already have in the pantry. Your friends will be so impressed.
For fall, we’re all about the combination of sweetness and spice. These flavors play nicely with a wide variety of cheeses for a cheese board that’s delightfully seasonal. Try one (or all!) of our easy pairings below. You don’t even need a fancy cheese board for serving. Simply cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for a trendy-looking platter with easy cleanup!
Mostarda is a traditional Italian condiment made with candied fruit and mustard. Think sweet, spicy and tangy all at once – a great companion for cheese. You can pick up a jar in most specialty cheese shops, or try this pantry staple riff:
- Slice up a shallot or small onion and sauté in a bit of olive oil until slightly softened.
- Add 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup stone ground mustard and 1/8 teaspoon allspice.
- Cook on low for about 5 minutes until the flavors are well incorporated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Try it with: alpine-style cheeses, cheddar or brie.
- Start with 4 cups popped popcorn.
- In a small skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon curry powder.
- Remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons honey.
- Pour the mixture over popcorn and stir well to combine.
Try it with: butterkäse, havarti or gouda.
Did you know this pantry staple also makes an excellent cheese pairing? The flavors of honey, brown sugar or maple syrup – along with cinnamon, nuts and dried fruit – all go well with cheese. Simply cut or break the bars into bite-sized pieces.
Try it with: chipotle cheddar, gouda or blue cheese.