Welcome back foodies!
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I love cheese boarding with a passion. Even more than cheese boarding, I love hosting. I have also been designated The Bougie One amongst most of my friend groups. *Kanye shrug* So it was no surprise to one of my girlfriends that, to celebrate her new job, I had her over for a fall brunch-themed cheese board date. While catching her up on Insecure and catching each other up on life, I also got to try out recipes by two of my favorite Food Network OG’s that I had bookmarked.
What was on the menu:
- Camembert & Prosciutto Tartine by Ina Garten
Find the recipe here.
- Crostini with Poached Figs & Goat Cheese by Giada De Laurentiis
Find the recipe here.
- Home-Made Bellini’s, compliments of my bougie board buddy (and really the only thing making it brunch-y lol)
- The Board:
- Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Black Pepper Toscano, Cheddar Gruyere
- Meats: Salami, Prosciutto
- Fruit: Pears, Grapes
- Bread: Ciabata Baguette
- Spreads: Fig Butter, Apple Cider Jam
- Extras: Almonds, Olive Mix
*All components compliments of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.*
The main thing that I appreciated about both the crostini was that they were super easy to make and manage putting together at once. Since poaching the figs took the longest, I just prepped everything else while that was simmering away on the stove. To keep everything uniform I made both bite sized using the same French baguette. The only adjustments from the recipe that I made was omitting the prosciutto and pancetta from half of them because my friend doesn’t eat pork. However, I did taste both versions and they were just as good without the meat. In fact, I thought that the pancetta on the fig and goat cheese crostini was a bit overpowering after a few bites. Without the pancetta, it was still the perfect balance of tangy from the goat cheese mixture and sweet from the figs. What really topped them off taste-wise was the fresh mint, and this is coming from someone who usually doesn’t like mint in anything. The camembert and prosciutto was perfectly simple, although I do think I used a bit too much salt, even while trying my best to be light-handed because of the already salty prosciutto. Regardless, it was a delicious bite and the dried thyme, being one of my favorite herbs, was a great touch.
The board also had an excellent balance of salty, sweet, mild and strong, if I do say so myself. My personal favorite combination is a bit of fig butter on a piece of bread with a bite of toscano and prosciutto. This was also my first time trying the Cheddar Gruyere and Apple Cider Jam, which are two of Trader Joe’s creative specialties. The Cheddar Gruyere was a hard cheese, and honestly tasted mostly cheddar but still a good bite. The jam tasted like fall in a jar and I couldn’t get enough of it. If you’ve seen my apple picking post, then you know about my apple cider obsession. The olive mix I got from the olive bar at Whole Foods, which had a mix of garlic-stuffed, jalapeño-stuffed, Spanish spiced, and Greek mix olives. I won’t make a corny pun about my name literally meaning “olive branch” but it is fitting that I love them so much. My sisters and I used to beg my mom for extra garlic-stuffed olives when we could convince her to buy from the olive bar while grocery shopping with her, and you can bet we fought over the last one.
If I’m being 110% honest, my favorite part was actually arranging everything. This was my first time using my new wood cutting boards (a smooth $20 each from Target) and little dip bowls ($5 each also from Target) and I was excited to try my first rustic-looking presentation. We were so proud of our arrangement that, no lie, we both stood over my coffee table taking pictures and boomerangs of the spread for a solid 10 minutes before actually sitting down to eat! It was definitely worth it though, as you can see, and iPhone’s portrait mode certainly came through.
I am definitely looking forward to hosting another cheese board day, especially with my fancy new boards and Bougie Friend assignment! If anyone has any suggestions for board combinations or places that have interesting spreads, let me know in the comments. Until next time…