Last weekend was an exciting one at the Molnar household. To celebrate my dad’s retirement and return home to Canada from Rhode Island, my parents invited family and friends over for some afternoon appetizers and cocktails. On the menu that day (amongst other tasty bites like pickles, olives, sausage with mustard dip, smoked prosciutto, salami, etc.) was the mother of all cheese plates made by–who else?–my mother!
It’s no secret that I love cheese, but I’d go as far as to say that it is my favourite food on the face of the earth. This cheese plate featured every type of cheese imaginable, from pungent blue cheese, creamy and tangy goat cheese, cheddar with a hint of truffles (my personal favourite), asiago with spicy red pepper (a close second), white stilton with apricots, havarti, brie, provolone, a festive garden vegetable cheese ball…there were even a couple of varieties I had never heard of before. Cheery red babybel wheels adorned each plate, and there was a vast array of accompaniments like nuts, dried figs, dates and crusty white bread to enjoy alongside the cheese.
Mom’s ultimate cheese-plate-on-steroids inspired me to prepare a smaller scale version for my next get-together (or, let’s face it, a plain old night in). I think a slim wedge of each of the following would fit the bill nicely while still offering wide variety: one blue cheese, one soft cheese (herbed goat cheese is my go-to), and one sharp, hard cheese (asiago, aged cheddar or even Parmigiano-Reggiano). Or, if the mood is right, a wheel of baked brie topped with walnuts and red pepper jelly.
Here’s to the Christmas season and an abundance of cheese!