Provençal Cheese Plate
This sexy little Provençal cheese plate is inspired by the fresh, seasonal flavors of Southern France. Filled with bright, cakey goat cheese, lavender-infused honey, oily sweet peppers, briny olives, fresh herbs, this French cheese platter is a perfect dinner on a summer day.
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese such as Purple Haze from Cypress Grove
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 pickled sweet peppers sliced
- 4 oz soft-ripened chèvre such as Wabash Cannonball
- 3 tbsp lavender-infused honey
- 6 dried figs sliced in half
- 2 tbsp French butter such as Isigny Ste-Mère
- ¼ cup roasted pistachios shelled
- ½ cup olives
- 4 oz aged sheep's milk cheese from France such as Esquirrou
- 1 baguette
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat the baguette until warm and crispy, about 8 minutes.
Shape the goat cheese into a disk, and place inside a shallow cazuela. Pour the olive oil over the goat cheese, and garnish with the sliced peppers. Set aside.
Cut off the top and bottom rind off of the French sheep's milk cheese. Slice into triangles, and set aside.
Put the butter and honey into separate small bowls, and set aside.
To arrange the platter, start by placing the cazuela in the upper righthand corner. Then, place the lavender honey in the lower righthand corner, and the butter in the lower lefthand corner.
Cut off a couple of slices of goat cheese, and place in between the cazuela and honey.
In the upper lefthand corner, layer the slices of sheep's milk cheese with the opposite sides sticking up so that it resembles a braid.
Place the figs and pistachios around the soft-ripened goat cheese.
Place the olives in between the sheep's milk cheese and the fresh goat cheese.
Surround the butter and fresh goat cheese with slices of baguette.
Fill in the gaps with rosemary and thyme.
Place a small spoon near the honey, spreaders by both the fresh goat cheese and butter, and a sharper knife for the aged chèvre. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!