Cheeseboard for Lunch
May 13, 2017 by Nicole Collins
Anytime I can make an appetizer in to a meal, I'm a happy girl.
It's one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do. I can't tell you how many times I visit a restaurant, and I don't look beyond the appetizer and drink menu. And because appetizers (or appies, as I like to call them) are just small bites, that means I get more bang for my caloric buck. (That's what I tell myself anyways.) When I want all the things, appies as a meal are the way to go.
I'm still coming down from my awesome girl's trip to the St. Michaels Wine Festival, so today's recipe is kind of an ode to that. There's a good chance I'll be talking about the trip for the next few weeks, so prepare yourself now. I just found so much inspiration from that trip. How could I not go on and on about it?
Truth be told, I'm not a wine drinker at all. At least, I haven't been since a bad experience in my 21 and dumb early drinker days. It's just been over the past few months that the idea of wine doesn't totally disgust me. I had to do some real preparation and training for this winefest trip. I'm a beer girl through and through, but wine just seems like a more “adult” beverage. And I use the term loosely! So, now if the wine is ice cold and sweet, I won't turn my nose up at it. #adulting
I feel like a natural accompaniment to wine is a nice cheeseboard. I LOVE a good cheeseboard. Cheese, bread or crackers, nuts, fruits, jams, meats...yum yum yum. And, can we talk about how beautiful a nicely put together cheeseboard is? I mean, all those colors and textures that you know equals flavor bomb in your mouth...drool much?
A cheeseboard with wine can get you in to trouble though. You pick and sip and pick and sip. And the next thing you know, bottles of wine (plural!) are gone, and you've taken it a step too far by stuffing your face with literally everything in sight.
So, I have figured out the way to not only make a cheeseboard less of a hazard, but I've turned this appie in to an acceptable lunch!
This cheeseboard for lunch has a little bit of every element from the best boards: salami as the meat; cream cheese for the creamy element; fig jam for a sweet touch; pistachios for the crunchy salty bite; sharp cheddar as the hard cheese; wheat thins for our carb element; and green grapes to represent the fruit.
I'm totally obsessed with salami. But I took it a step further and rolled cream cheese, fig jam, and nuts inside of it like a little cigar. The salami rolls are the star of this show, for sure. They're salty, creamy, sweet, smooth, crunchy...they're everything. Grapes and cheddar cheese who is what you'll be saying.
The way I've got this portioned out, you get just enough of every element in a totally healthy meal. These are great to pre-portion out and use as meal prep for a make and take meal too. That's actually how I prefer to do it so I don't have to make the salami rolls every day when I want to eat this. But even better, if you choose not to portion this out individually, you're ready to party with an AWESOME appie cheeseboard! I'm too good to you, I know.
So, let's raise our glass, cheers to the weekend, and make this cheeseboard for yourself and/or others asap.
Cheeseboard for Lunch
Serves: 4 Print
For the Salami Rolls:
24 slices salami
4 oz whipped cream cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tbsp fig jam
¼ cup salted shelled pistachios, chopped
For the Cheeseboard:
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese block
32 wheat thins crackers
4 cups green grapes
Make the Salami Rolls: In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, lemon juice and black pepper together. Take one slice of salami; spread ¼ tsp of the cream cheese mix, 1/8 tsp fig jam, and 1/8 tsp pistachios in the center of the slice. Roll the salami to enclose filling. Repeat til all salami has been used.
Slice the cheese block in to 16 slices. Cut each slice in half. Each cheeseboard serving equals 6 salami rolls, 8 squares of cheddar, 8 crackers, and 1 cup of grapes.
*This is portioned out to make one lunch appropriate serving. Since there are so many pieces to this puzzle, I find that I eat it slower, so this keeps me full. I even eat it for dinner. There will be cream cheese mix left over, so add more salami rolls if you need a slightly larger portion.
*Eliminate the portions, and serve this as one large cheeseboard or appetizer for a crowd.
*I like to use whipped cream cheese because it's light and fluffy, and I don't have to wait for it to soften. You can substitute this with block cream cheese that's been softened at room temperature if you need to.