FRUIT AND CHEESE PLATTER
I love the holidays and all the parties that this time of year brings EXCEPT for the LACK of healthy food around. I have found that people commonly serve chips and dips, pre-made appetizers that are loaded with who knows what, or make items that are filled to the brim with fat and sodium. I normally always arm myself with healthy snacks and appetizers when I leave my home to ensure that I have something to munch on. With a little thought, you too can fight the dreaded holiday party selection (and holiday addition to your midsection) by bringing a healthy item like a Fruit and Cheese Platter.
One of the best things about a fruit and cheese platter is that the combinations are endless. No matter what time of year it is, you can find ripe in season organic fruit and an abundance of organic cheeses at most large grocery stores. If you are lucky enough to have year round FARMERS MARKETS in your area, they only carry what is in season; so you should be sure to get great tasting fruit. Some of us also have a local artisan cheese maker close by (or close enough to make a nice afternoon drive out of it), that will have a unique variety of cheeses. Another source for your cheese could be a local winery. Most wineries carry local artisan cheeses to be paired with their wines…. I hear wine tasting while picking up that cheese for your platter. Now that’s a way to shop!
There are no particular rules to making platters, the idea is pretty simple. I like to use a wooden cutting board as my tray and arrange the fruit in different shapes. If I am traveling with the tray to a party, I prep all my ingredients ahead of time. After I cut everything up I place them in seal-able bags and pack them up with my tray. It is really simple to just open up the bags and place everything on the tray when I arrive at the event. This also prevents any spills in the car or need to keep it up right, etc.
The platter shown above includes the following:
4 ripe organic clementines (cuties), peel and separate lobes… reserve your peels for an orange peel grinder
1 ripe organic granny smith apple, wash, DO NOT PEEL and halve lengthwise, then cut each half into 8 pieces
6 ounces of organic sharp cheddar cheese block, small cubed
REFER TO THE DISPLAY PICTURE ABOVE OFTEN WHILE READING INSTRUCTIONS: On a clean wooden rectangle cutting board laying with the narrow side up on top, start in the middle of the board and lay one apple piece with skin towards the top left diagonal side, stack 7 more slices on top of each other making the bottom half of an “S”. Starting above the first apple slice repeat but going the opposite way up the cutting board towards the top to complete the “S” with the remaining apple slices. In the round part of the “APPLE S”, pile the half of the clementine lobes in each. Starting in the middle of the cutting board, pile half of the cubed cheese in a line going out towards the opposite diagonal corner as shown above. Pretty simple huh?
There are many ways you can arrange fruit and cheese, there is no wrong way or right way. If you take your time and have fun with it, your platter will always look nice and DELICIOUS!