There are so many rules when you’re pregnant about what you can and can’t eat that it’s hard to keep up. No ham or cold meats from the deli, no cured meats, no raw fish, no runny egg yolks, no BBQ chicken, no pate, no unpasteurised cheese, no soft cheese, no smelly cheese…
Now as I sit here with my 14 day old daughter in my arms, and I look down at her little bow lips and beautiful chubby cheeks, the nine of months abstaining from all these foods seems like a small price to pay for such perfection. And now that she’s here and safe, I once again have the freedom to eat (and drink) whatever I like…it’s quite liberating.
While not being able to have a glass of wine of an evening didn’t bother me at all during pregnancy, not being able to eat certain cheeses, cured meats and pates has been somewhat of a struggle. You see, a late night dinner for us would normally consist of a variety of cheeses and cured meats on a chopping board with some fresh crusty bread and a glass of wine. It couldn’t be simpler to prepare and it’s always very satisfying.
So there is no recipe here – just my thoughts on what makes an impressive but no fuss cheese board.
- A well balanced cheese platter in my opinion should have a blue cheese, a soft cheese and a beautiful sharp hard cheese at a minimum. Instead of opting for a cheddar, try Parmagiano-Reggiano. It’s a beautiful sharp cheese, it looks lovely on a cheeseboard and if not all eaten – you can use it on your pasta.
- Don’t cut parmesan, if it’s lovely and fresh, when you stick a fork or sharp knife into it, it should just crumble away.
- If you like your blue cheese nice and strong, try Cabrales, a Spanish blue – not for the faint hearted. Or for something more creamy, you can’t go past St Agur from France.
- Caper berries are a nice alternative to olives – definitely stronger on flavour and more visually appealing.
- Use seasonal fruits to add a sweet component to your cheese board – figs, pears, berries etc.
- Serve cheese with a couple of crusty wood fired breads, like a sourdough and a rye, and let the cheese do the talking. Give the dry biscuits a miss. Fruit bread also works well, particularly with blue cheese.
- While cheese loves the company of red wine, in summer, a crisp riesling will get you by just nicely (but I’m no wine connoisseur).
What are your cheese board tricks?