It’s the festive season, and that means lots of entertaining!
I’ve never been the most creative when it comes to cheese platters – they’re usually an afterthought that I throw onto a board when I begin to panic that I’m not going to have a meal ready in time for guests. A couple of types of cheese, a packaged dip, some crackers, done.
But I enjoy trying new things and pushing myself creatively, and I wanted to come up with an idea for an entertaining platter that was a little less mediocre and a little more interesting.
This entertaining platter is definitely not ho-hum. With wedges of juicy grilled peach, a melty and gooey grilled Brie, oven-roasted balsamic tomatoes, torn bocconcini, cranberries, a ricotta and pesto dip, and shaved Jamón serrano (cured Spanish ham, available from the deli), it is an explosion of flavour.
Plus, all the colours and textures look SO pretty when put together on a platter!
Here’s the recipe – it’s super simple and will take your cheese platter game to a whole new level! The combination of flavours really is something so special.
- Small tub ricotta
- Jar of pesto
- Jamón Serrano (get them to shave it for you fresh at the deli). I used 160g (5.5oz)
- Baby roma tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- 3 x Fresh peaches
- Assorted crackers (I used pita crisps, grissini and fig crackers for their contrasting shapes and textures)
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉)
- Cut the baby tomatoes in half and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, then grind over some sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Bake for 10-15 mins.
- Cut the peaches into wedges. Place the peaches cut side down on the BBQ or in a grill pan. Add the Brie. Once placed on the grill, do not move the food until it's time to flip it over. This will give you nice grill lines. Cook until the Brie is just molten inside - about 10 minutes. To check, press the Brie with your finger until it feels loose and soft.
- Tear the bocconcini into bite-sized pieces.
- Mix together the small tub of ricotta and approx. half a jar of pesto. Place in a small serving bowl.
- On the platter, arrange the torn bocconcini, roasted tomatoes, ricotta and pesto dip, grilled Brie, grilled peaches, Jamón and crackers. Sprinkle with cranberries and serve immediately.
We enjoyed our cheese platter for a lazy Sunday lunch with a bottle of sparkling Italian Rosé.
That made me feel super fancy, typing that. We even locked ourselves out on the deck so the kids wouldn’t hassle us too much.
We both agreed that we need to eat cheese platters as an entire meal on a MUCH more regular basis. More cheese = happier parents, which = happier families, which = happier communities. So basically, eating cheese is good for world peace.
I do try to do my little bit for the good of humanity.
Do let me know if you try this combination for your next entertaining platter! I’d love to hear what you think. Or if you want to save it for later, make sure you pin it to your recipe board on Pinterest!
Do you find yourself doing heaps of extra entertaining over the Christmas season? Who’s planned a menu for Christmas lunch already? We’re eating at Mum and Dad’s place, so I’m just bringing a salad and perhaps a dessert. It will all be fairly simple and casual.
I’d love to hear your feasting plans. It’s always fun to hear the difference between our Aussie summer Christmas fare and what our Northern Hemisphere friends do.
Wishing you a house full of sunshine!