I love putting together cheese boards/antipasto platters because there’s nothing more fun than entertaining with snacks. We often make The Best Chicken Caesar Salad for at home date nights. But sometimes we put together a simple cheese board, and snack away as dinner.
The main idea is to have a few varied flavors so you can make different combinations between the cheeses, cured meats, and fruit/veggies. And if I know I’m entertaining I really tend to go overboard with as many options as I can fit onto a board. That way everyone can find something they like. But that being said, you can make a cheese board with just a couple of options, which keeps it even simpler.
I really try and keep any kind of cooking down to a minimum with my cheese boards. But the grilled sweet peppers are pretty much mandatory in my opinion. My favorite cheese board combo is those grilled peppers with herbed goat cheese with a drizzle of reduced balsamic – crackers are optional.
This combo is simply deadly, and I never seem to get enough of it. The exact same combo with cherry tomatoes instead of the sweet peppers is also addictive. And don’t even get me started on how good the marinated mozzarella is wrapped up in a slice or salami!
Fruit is pretty optional to use most of the time. But during the summer months I love adding cherries, and a few wedges of prosciutto wrapped melon.
Tip: Traditionally cantaloupe is used for the classic prosciutto wrapped melon here in the States. But we also have Tuscan melons that blow cantaloupe right out of the water! If you can’t find Tuscan melons in your area, just look for whatever is ripe and has a flowery sweet smell.
There’s 4 different fresh herbs listed in the recipe. But feel free to simplify if you don’t have an overflowing herb garden. I love the fresh herbs in the goat cheese, but it can be left plain. And you can sub in Italian seasoning for the fresh herbs in the marinated mozzarella.
Note: This is a large recipe intended for entertaining, but you can make this as big or small as you’d like. When we make this for just the 2 of us, we just pick a couple items to keep it simple.
- 1 pound mini mozzarella balls, sometimes called mozzarella pearls
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Herbed Goat Cheese:
- 1/2 cup fresh soft goat cheese
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Other Cheese Board Ingredients:
- 1 – 8 ounce bag mini sweet peppers, about 12
- 3-4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 small melon, cantaloupe or tuscan
- Reduced balsamic vinegar
- 1 small wheel of brie cheese, 8 ounces
- 2-3 thick slices of aged cheddar, 4-5 ounces
- 8-10 ounces thinly sliced mixed salami, I used genoa, peppered salami, and coppa
- 1 small cucumber, sliced, 6 ounces
- Crackers or crusty bread, 1 used 1 pound gluten free crackers
- 1-2 cups of cherries, berries, or stone fruit
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- Sprigs of fresh herbs: chives, basil, and thyme
- Mix together all the ingredients for the marinated mozzarella, and refrigerate at least 8 hours, overnight is even better. Let the mozzarella sit at room temperature to melt the olive oil for about 20 minutes before serving.
- For the marinated goat cheese, mix/mash together all the ingredients until combined. Serve it immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before serving.
- Grill the mini sweet peppers over medium heat until softened with grill marks. They can be added directly to the cheese board or refrigerated until serving.
- Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds, and cut it into thin wedges, carefully removing the skin. Wrap each melon slice in a piece of the sliced prosciutto.
- Place all the the prepared ingredients onto a large platter(s) or a large board that’s food safe. Scatter a few sprigs of herbs in and around the different ingredients and serve immediately.