We’re about to get into that time of year when entertaining guests becomes more regular and the weather demands heartier fare. Here are some tips for building a cheese board that is sure to wow! This version uses local and regional cheeses and be sure to check back for our Imported Edition.
When building a cheese board, there are several things to consider: of course the types of cheese you’ll serve, but also quantities and accompaniments become important. If you’re serving cheese as a precursor to a fabulous meal, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. If cheese is the main event, plan on 5-6 ounces per person.
One thing you’ll definitely want to consider when building a cheese board is having a variety of flavors and textures. Our regional board features a creamy herbed labneh or yogurt cheese, a pungent and more crumbly blue cheese, a sturdy Swiss, a tangy and spreadable goat cheese and a hearty cheddar. Think about how you can incorporate cheeses that use cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk so that you can taste the difference in flavor.
While chowing down on big servings of cheese is always fun and delicious, it’s also important to serve accompaniments that provide balance to the flavors of your cheeses. We like to serve some sort of candied nuts (pistachios in this case) for sweetness and crunch. It’s also a good idea to serve some sort of bread item, like crackers, bread sticks or sliced baguettes. For this board we used multigrain crackers. Some sort of sweet fruit or chutney also adds for a nice balance. We have lots of fresh figs in right now, but dried figs or dates would also be delicious. And because it’s both pretty and delicious we like to serve a piece of local honeycomb from Woodland Apiaries.
Here are few other helpful tips when building a cheese board:
-Don’t overcrowd your board. You want to make sure that there is enough room to serve a knife for each type of cheese.
-Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before your guests arrive. Cold cheese won’t have as strong a flavor.
-Be sure to label your cheeses so that you don’t have to repeat yourself all evening.
Now come on and let Dalynne, our resident Cheese-monger, help you build that perfect cheese board!
Burrata- Italian for “you’ll never want to eat anything else again in your life.” Ok, not exactly. It actually means “buttery” and one taste of this souped up mozzarella cheese and you’ll be changed forever. Burrata, made from either buffalo or cow’s milk is an outer shell of fresh mozzarella cheese, filled with a mixture of cream and more mozzarella cheese. The result is a rich, creamy cheese that balances nicely with something sweet, like honey, or in this case plums and something peppery, like arugula.
Plums, often under-utilized in salads, make the perfect addition to this recipe. This time of year, they’re nice and sweet with great texture and juiciness. We’ve also added a salty prosciutto, which can be omitted if you’re wanting to create a vegetarian dish.
To assemble this salad place a bed of arugula down first. Remove pits from plums and slice, scattering plums on top of the greens. Tear proscuitto into small pieces and also place on greens. Place two balls of burrata on top, cutting open, so the creamy inside spills onto the rest of the salad. For extra sweetness, drizzle honey on top of the burrata.
If you have an over-abundance of apples, or peels and cores, then why not make your own apple cider vinegar? Sure, it’s easy enough to pick up on any grocery trip, but with some apple scraps, water and jar you can make your own! Apple cider vinegar is good for a whole host of things like cleaning, removing dandruff, clearing your skin and aiding your digestive health. So while you’re making those pies this fall or wondering what to do with the apples on your tree, save the extras and make your own vinegar!
To make apple cider vinegar you will need:
•organic apple scraps, peels or cores (or all three)
•a large jar or jars depending on how much vinegar you’re making
•a cloth to keep out bugs and debris
Wash apples and allow apple scraps to brown at room temperature. If you have whole apples, cut them into slices first. Place them in a jar and cover with water. Place a cloth or rag on top and store in a warm, dark place like a hot water closet. Let the jar stand for 6 months, stirring once a week. At the end of six months you will notice a grey scum on the top of the mixture. Pour the contents through a fine sieve into another jar. Place cloth on top and store for another four weeks. Store vinegar in a covered jar in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
Uinta Brewing Co.- Salt Lake City, UT
Written by Sarah Quallen, Co-op Volunteer Writer
Moscow’s a pretty special place: it has a low crime rate, there are a ton of activities to do in the area, Moscow-ites are bound to run into a familiar face – or four – wherever they go, and, of course, there is the Moscow Food Co-op. The Co-op has its own appeal, and much of it has to do with what it does differently than other grocery stores and co-ops.
1. Compost. Yup, the Moscow Food Co-op composts. While a lot of businesses recycle, composting has yet to take off in the business world.
2. The size of our co-op is impressive, especially relative to the size of the town. Because of its considerable available space, the Moscow Food Co-op is a full-service grocer, deli, and bakery. It has a selection that’s difficult to beat, which is particularly useful if one has special dietary needs.
3. Yes, the Farmer’s Market is fab, but our local farmers can use every opportunity to make their produce available to consumers, which is why the Tuesday’s Grower’s Market is such a wonderful component to the Moscow Food Co-ops offerings. This is not competition, it is what a co-op is all about: working together to bring local business to local businesses.
4. Co-op Kids. Mama’s and Papa’s. Wine Tasting. Cooking Classes. The Moscow Food Co-op’s “clubs” or activities contribute to its uniqueness. It is not merely a place to shop, but a place to meet people, a place to socialize, and a place to learn. Which brings me to the best “unique” part of the Moscow Food Co-op:
5. Its Community. We are what makes the co-op unique. We contribute our voices, our personalities, our desires, and our education to a community of people that help others, that respect differences, and that just plain ol’ enjoy life in a small town – and we tend to do it all at the Moscow Food Co-op.