Easy Appetizer Cheese Platter

cheese-platter-with-herbed-nuts

This Easy Appetizer Cheese Platter is a great idea for your next gathering. It pairs a selection of cheeses from Lunds with easy-to-make Rosemary Pecans and Thyme-Roasted Walnuts. Remember to Like, Comment and Share!

Easy Appetizer Cheese Platter

Who doesn’t need an easy button on a day that includes family activities and a dinner party? In this case, it was a grandson’s football game and friends coming over later that same evening. What is an easy button? Essentially, it’s a simple entertaining idea –  don’t make everything! By balancing out the number of things you make vs. buy, you have a much less hectic time in the kitchen. As the host, you can also enjoy your own dinner party.

What to Buy

For my platter I purchased the following selection of cheeses & crackers:

  • Rembrandt aged Gouda
  • Delice de Bourgongne – a French classic triple crème cheese
  • Cambozola – a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Italian Gorgonzola
  • Cranberry Crisps (crackers)
  • La Panzanella Rosemary Artisan Crackers

Each of these cheeses brings a great distinct flavor to the selection. The aged Gouda is a hard, salty, grainy cheese. The Delice de Bourgongne is like eating butter. The Cambozola has a similar creaminess, but with the salty hint of blue cheese. If this isn’t your favorite combination, no worries. There is a vast array to choose from at Lunds & Byerlys and trained cheese experts to help select whatever you prefer.

What to Make

Initially I decided to make a glaze for the Cambozola cheese because I had tasted this wonderful combination at a tapas restaurant.  Next I came up with the idea of including some honey-ginger balsamic vinegar in the glaze, since it had been a hostess gift from the same friends that were coming to dinner. Essentially I just reduced this vinegar to a syrup and combined it with some honey. The result was a tangy/sweet and sticky glaze that was heavenly with the Cambozola and spread on the Cranberry Crisps.

Additionally I decided to make the Rosemary Pecans and Thyme-Roasted Walnuts. Since both of these recipes required just a few ingredients and only 10 minutes in the oven, they were a great option and could be made in advance. Yet they give the appetizer a nice little extra pizzazz and the impression I had fussed more than I did. Bonus! If you have any leftover, they are also great served in a salad.

Easy Appetizer Cheese Platter

Serving Size: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

    Cheese & Cracker Selection
  • wedge of aged Gouda
  • wedge of Delice de Bourgongne ( or another triple crème cheese)
  • wedge of Cambozola
  • Cranberry Crisps (or other crisp cracker with a hint of sweetness)
  • La Panzanella Rosemary Artisan Crackers
  • Note - or select your own cheese and cracker combination
    Glaze
  • 1/3 c. honey-ginger balsamic vinegar (or other fruit flavored white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/4 c honey
    Rosemary Pecans
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. (or more, to taste )cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp (or more, to taste) kosher salt
  • 2 c. pecan halves
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
    Thyme-Roasted Walnuts
  • 2 c. walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more, to taste) kosher salt

Instructions

    Cheese & Crackers
  • Let Delice de Bourgongne and Cambozola (or any soft cheeses) set at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Place Cambozola cheese on small plate and drizzle with glaze. Arrange all 3 cheeses and crackers on large platter and serve with nuts.
    Glaze
  • Reduce honey-ginger balsamic vinegar (or other fruit-based white balsamic vinegar) to a syrup consistency, about 10-15 minutes on steady simmer. It should boil down to about 1 tbsp or so after being reduced. Let cool and combine with honey. Note - if glaze becomes too stiff to drizzle after cooling, warm at low power in microwave for a few seconds.
    Rosemary Pecans
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cayenne and salt. Add pecans and toss to coat.
  • Transfer pecans to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add rosemary and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    Thyme-Roasted Walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Toss walnuts, oil, thyme and salt on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until walnuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Rosemary Pecans adapted from November 2007 Real Simple recipe

Thyme-Roasted Walnuts adapted from December 2015 bon appetit recipe

http://itsthyme2cook.com/seasonalrecipes/easy-appetizer-cheese-platter/

 

5 thoughts on “Easy Appetizer Cheese Platter

  1. The cheese platter was so delicious! I loved the Cambozola cheese with the balsamic reduction, just yummy. Over the years we have enjoyed many cheese appetizers with Cathy & Mike, but this one was the best! I could have made a meal out of it, but I knew I had to hold back and save room for more wonderful food. Cathy’s dinners are always a treat and something I look forward to.

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