Whatever the occasion, you can never go wrong with a special cheese presentation. There is, of course, always the trusty Mozzarella Caprese Salad, but here are a few other ideas to use Italian cheeses as an appetizer, hors d’oeuvre, or a cheese board as a finale to any meal:
As an hors d’ oeuvre, consider a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano for nibbling along with some thin slices of hard salami or some thinly sliced roasted peppers and some crusty Italian bread.
As an appetizer, consider a thinly sliced creamy fresh mozzarella or burrata, and arrange in a shallow dish. Drizzle with a premium extra virgin olive oil and some freshly cracked black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least an hour at room temperature. Place it in the center of the table with a basket of crusty bread. I guarantee the plate will be empty by the time dinner is served.
As a cheese board and/or finale, consider a wedge of Gorgonzola with slices of a walnut or carrot bread, fresh figs and a high quality local honey. Your dinner guests spread the cheese on the bread, slice the figs on top and drizzle with the local honey.
Consider taking a couple of firm ripened peaches or nectarines, sliced in half and the pits removed. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and place cut side down on a heated grill or grill pan. Grill until peaches start to soften but remain pretty firm. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with a sweat and creamy Gorgonzola, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of local honey. Your dinner guests will love it!
As an accompaniment to coffee, espresso, or an after dinner aperitif, consider taking a pot of freshly made ricotta; mix in a little sugar and some finely ground espresso coffee beans. Spoon a half of a cup onto a plate or into a small dessert bowl. Garnish with a few chocolate-dipped coffee beans and some fresh mint.