It's true that a simple selection of New Zealand's finest cheeses is a perfectly adequate way to present your cheesebaord. Sometimes though it's nice to dial things up a bit by adding other exciting varities and mizing up they way you present them. Here are a few ideas to bring your cheese dishes to the next level.
Pairing cheese alongside the perfect accompaniment is a foolproof path to success.
- Try Kapiti ricotta drizzled in honey (infused with lavender, orange blossom or thyme if you like) then scattered with finely chopped herbs: rosemary, basil, oregano or try chives for a lovely savoury twist.
- Slice Kapiti cumin seed gouda thinly and serve with equally thin slices of toasted dark rye bread.
- Get the best ripe tomatoes money can buy (Curious Croppers grow a fantastic range). Drizzle in good olive oil and blast in a hot oven till they burst, then serve with Mainland Special Reserve Feta crumbled over.
- Using ripe, New Zealand-grown grapes, follow the same cooking method then serve with honeycomb and Kapiti Awa Blue.
The Ever-Popular Ploughman’s
This classic English picnic on a plate is a real crowd pleaser and can be easily adjusted to suit tastes and dietary requirements. Start with really good bread - a selection of slices from a few different loaves is lovely. Nestle alongside the bread, a generous hunk of Kapiti Tuteremoana Cheddar, a second cheese as a contrast (try Kahurangi Blue or Havarti), charcuterie of some sort (thick ham is good but terrine or brawn is even better) and a pickle of some sort. Homemade pickled onions are a stroke of brilliance, but otherwise any chunky, dark chutney or relish will do. A few slices of apple is a nice traditional touch and add to that a few slices of radish for interest. Tip: include a pat of butter: everyone knows bread and cheese go best with butter in between.
- When tomatoes are beautifully ripe and flavoursome and basil is plentiful, there’s only one thing for it: a classic Caprese salad, and keep it simple. Slice ripe heirloom tomatoes and arrange on a platter with basil leaves and buttons of creamy Kapiti bocconcini before drizzling with a good robust local olive oil and sprinkling with a little flaky sea salt and black pepper. Note: step away from the balsamic vinegar, and make sure the tomatoes are not cold, nor the bocconcini too cold either.
- Crumble Mainland Special Reserve generously over salads adding thinly sliced red onion and freshly chopped mint leaves and dress the salad simply with olive oil and lemon juice.
Presented by Taste magazine