"The Distinctive Life" presented by the Distinctive Collection

27 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume �� GOURMET CUISINE La Tur, an “Italian cheese made with cow, goat, and sheep milk … a variation of a Robiola cheese,” and a delicious alternative to traditional brie. Brazel also recommends using a variety of tangy goat cheese options, aged Gouda from the Netherlands, and French Ossau-Iraty. Of course, with an upscale cheese board, you’ll need to elevate the accoutrements. If you choose a Gorgonzola Dolce (among the cheese options Food & Wine loves), Brazel suggests complementing it with honeycomb, which “pairs so well with blue cheeses” and can be cubed for a better, easier-to-serve bite than liquid honey. If you want to include crackers, lean toward neutral flavors so that they don’t compete with or overpower the flavors of your chosen cheeses. Toasted nut breads bought at the local farmers’ market, unsalted almonds, firm stone fruit, and quince paste round out this ultimate cheese board deliciously. NIÇOISE PARTY BOARD Creating a snack board centered around a smoked salmon spread is an excellent way to kick off your summer entertaining plans. It’s one of EatingWell ’s favorite additions to grazing tables because it references the classic (and much loved) Niçoise salad while giving it an impressive update ideal for gatherings. The magazine raves about this board’s tempting selections: “Snappy green beans, fresh tomatoes, a medley of olives, and soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with chives and paprika serve as the ode to the classic [salad], while seeded crackers and mixed nuts add a crunchy upgrade.” When arranging this board, work from the center and move out, with the delectable smoked salmon cheese ball being the focus. Be sure to contain your olives in an eye-catching ramekin and place whole-grain mustard in a decorative jar near the salmon for easy spooning. MEDITERRANEAN APPETIZER BOARD As Mediterranean diets have become increasingly popular, party hosts have grappled with elegant ways to offer the flavors of the region while entertaining. EatingWell has developed a “bountiful” grazing board that will thrill anyone who loves Mediterranean food. You begin with “a duo of classic hummus and roasted eggplant dip [with sizzled garlic, which] offers dunking options for seeded crackers, carrot sticks, and raw fennel slices.” From there, “juicy grapes and dried apricots provide a sweet counterpart to salty prosciutto and feta cheese.” As a bonus, the board’s flavors pair beautifully with crisp, acidic summer wine favorites like Assyrtiko or Sauvignon Blanc. SOUTHERN DELIGHTS When hosting upscale gatherings for friends who love incredible Southern-style food (and who doesn’t), take your cue from Southern Living, which raves about its “Easy Summer Appetizer Board” filled with Southern delights. The magazine advises hosts that “no Southern appetizer board is complete without spicy-sweet pickled okra,” with their personal favorite being the much-lauded Wickles Wicked Okra. The drained and chilled okra is included on the grazing board with torn bread or crackers, white cheddar-chive pimiento cheese, whole-grain Dijon mustard, and salted pecans. According to the magazine, a bowl of Riesling peaches is a must, as is the addition of “thinly sliced salami, prosciutto, or country ham.” But if you really want to dazzle your guests, Southern Living recommends choosing a specialty salami that will thrill the taste buds. The magazine’s favorite? “Olli Salumeria salami, slow-cured in Virginia and found in gourmet grocery stores across the South.”