A Grain & Gluten Free Fall Inspired Cheese Party

posted:

10/02/2014

The Act of Gathering

Sharing in a meal together is one of the most joyful and intimate of events throughout human history.  Since the beginning of time, we have been coming together to feast and enjoy the bounties of our labor and the beauty of our harvest.  Finger food is comfort food and creates an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality.  Fall is such a beautiful season to entertain as the air cools and the leaves turn vibrant in color.  Gathering around coffee tables, fireplaces or even fancy dinning room tables is a time to connect, laugh, fellowship and enjoy the many blessings we have.

The meal doesn’t have to be elaborate – a pot of soup or a salad will suffice – and having flowers or matching plates isn’t necessary: the main goal is just to be together.Anna Watson Carl, The Yellow Table

Creating a Cheese Platter

Starting your social gathering or party with a cheese platter welcomes everyone into your home and allows people to nibble and chatter while the rest of the food is cooking.  If you are simply having an appetizer or wine and cheese night, this platter offers a lovely spread to satisfy your guests tastes and appetites, without too much expense or difficulty on your part.

Whenever I make a cheese platter, I like to serve a variety so that all the guest’s tastes are satisfied.  Cheeses have endless flavors, textures, smells and colors!  My favorites are the salty, aged cheeses but those can be a little strong for some people.  I love a raw milk aged cheddar or a salty Percorino Romano, a parmesan type cheese made from sheep’s milk. So choose a few aged cheeses and a few softer, ripe cheeses such as brie or goat chèvre.

When selecting cheeses for a party, I typically choose cheese from different animals such as goat, sheep and cow’s milk cheeses.  Many people have allergies or sensitivities to cow’s milk cheese so serving a soft goat chèvre or salty sheep’s manchego will give everyone an option.   You can let your guests know what the different cheeses are or even create fun labels for them.

The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment. Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine

As someone who eats grain and gluten free due to my heath, this quote from Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table really spoke to me.  Creating an atmosphere so that people of all walks of life, people with allergies, or people with health conditions can feel welcomed and enjoy the food served is sometimes a difficult task.  This fall inspired grain and gluten free cheese platter offers something for everyone! I chose to serve with homemade grain free crackers, made from almond flour, but I would also recommend grabbing some gluten free crackers or a fresh baguette so that everyone has something to nibble and enjoy.

With the changing of seasons comes a chance to start fresh and start new traditions.  I encourage you to come together and gather—to eat and to fellowship—and watch how the act of gathering can change your perspective on food and maybe even on life.  Use this season to invite someone new to your table, get outside your comfort zone and enjoy a meal together!

Happy October!

Florals by Annette Gomez // Hand lettering by Katie Grant

A Grain & Gluten Free Fall Inspired Cheese Party

serves a party of 8-14

Grain Free Cheese Platter Ingredients

Assembling and Serving

  • The day before or just an hour before the party, make the crackers. They last a few days so you can make them ahead of time.
  • Next, prepare the prosciutto wrapped blistered dates.  They only take a few minutes to prepare and about 10 minutes in the oven, so just place them in the oven about the time your guests arrive as they will make your kitchen smell fabulous!
  • While the dates are cooking, start assembling the cheese platter.  It is best to bring the cheeses to room temperature, so remove from the fridge about 15-20 minutes before your guests begin to arrive.
  • Begin with a large platter—a circle, rectangle or square works great!
  • Place the nuts and kalamata olives in two small bowls.
  • Place a few handfuls of arugula or baby lettuces on the bottom of the platter.
  • Arrange the cheeses, crackers and prosciutto slices around the platter.  Slice pears just before the guests arrive (so that they don’t brown) and place on platter.
  • Have a few small spoons available for the olives and nuts and knives for the cheeses. Its best to have a knife for each cheese.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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