8 Rules to Designing a Cheeseboard, Farro Tabbouleh with Burrata & Hummus, Fig & Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza

Cheeseboard 

Serves: 4 - 6

8 Rules to Designing a Cheeseboard:

Rule 1: The idea is always to make the cheeseboard or platter warm, presentable, and inviting.

Rule 2: Use of Boards –Cheeseboards are typically assembled on a slate or wooden tray. Think shapes – rectangle, square, circular, platters or trays.

Rule 3: Place natural, flat, and colorful ingredients to start the board – example. fig leaves, hydrangea leaves...etc.

Rule 4: Grapes are beautiful in color and add height. Start with grapes in the center or off center on the board…seedless or not to seedless, that is the question?

Rule 5: Add cheese – start with 3 different types. Example – blue cheese, a hard cheese, and a creamy cheese. Focus on the shape and flavors of the cheeses.

Rule 6: Add food that compliments the cheeses and will add color to the board. Examples – apricots, fig jams, crostini, dried fruits, nuts, charcuterie, savory or sweet crackers. Casually spill the food to fill up space on your board.

Rule 7: Cutting of cheeses 😊 😊😊 If you put cheese on a board that has not been sliced first, no one will eat it. It’s great to cut a few slices of the cheese, as it adds dimension and texture.

Rule 8: STOP! (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid 😊 Do not over think or do it!!!



Ingredients for Farro Tabbouleh with Burrata and Hummus:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • flakey sea salt and pepper
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1 cup plain hummus
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • pita chips

Procedure for Farro Tabbouleh with Burrata & Hummus:

1. Cook the farro according to package directions. Drain and add to a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, heat your grill, grill pan, or skillet to high.

3. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 5 - 8 minutes, turning once or twice, until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender. Remove from the grill. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

4. To the cooked farro, add the grilled asparagus, tomatoes, blueberries, cucumbers, parsley, basil, mint, pistachios, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Spread the hummus in and even layer in a bowl or serving platter. Top with the farro mix. Break the burrata over the farro and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Serve with pita chips. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients for Fig & Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza with Arugula:

  • 3½ tablespoon butter, divided 
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup extra for dusting & adjusting dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 - 5 shallots, sliced
  • 1 cup dried figs, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup Port
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 5 - 6 ounce package soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 1 - 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure for Fig & Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza with Arugula:

1. To make flatbread, combine 2 tablespoons butter and milk and heat until butter is just melted - on stove or in microwave. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, butter, and milk. Sprinkle work surface with flour then knead for a few minutes until it is smooth.  Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.

2. To make caramelized shallots, place 1½ tablespoons butter and shallots in a skillet over medium heat. Stir the shallots every 5 - 10 minutes to be sure they are cooking evenly and not getting burned. They will start to soften and become translucent. Continue cooking and checking shallots until caramelized. Remove the shallots from the heat.

3. To make fig jam, place a medium saucepan over medium – high heat, add figs and port. Cook until liquid almost evaporates, and figs are soft, approximately 7 - 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool. Add cooled figs to food processor and pulse until mixture is chopped. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, and pulse to form a paste. Transfer to bowl, taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

4. Dust bench top with flour, cut dough into 4 pieces, roll into balls, then roll out into about 1/8" / 0.3cm thick rounds. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat - or lower if you have a heavy based skillet. Place one flatbread in the pan, cook for around 1 - 2 ½ minutes - it should bubble up - then flip and cook the other side, pressing down if it puffs up.

5. Spread 1 – 2 tablespoons of fig jam over the flatbread. Scatter the caramelized shallots over the jam and sprinkle 1 - 2 tablespoons of goat cheese over the shallots.

6. Toss the arugula with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the completed flatbread.

 

Recipe Notes:

1. Higher heat and the thinner the dough = crispier crust, though still pliable inside, the thin crispy crust on the outside might crack when you roll it. This is how I make naan. The larger darker brown spots on the bread, make it look like authentic naan, just like what you get at Indian restaurants!

2. Storing: Dough keeps in the refrigerator for around 3 days. Tip: Roll out the rounds, ready to cook. Just make sure you use baking paper or cling wrap to keep the pieces separated, flour will not suffice.

3. Cooked breads keep well in the freezer!

4. Works great with WHOLE WHEAT flour, does not work with almond flour.

5. Dairy free / vegan substitutions: You may substitute the butter with olive oil and almond milk for the dairy milk to make it a vegan / dairy free version.  It can also be made with coconut oil.  This recipe works pretty well with gluten free flour. You may need a bit of extra flour to roll it out - just add more as required. The texture is a bit different - a bit chewy, and you may not be able to roll them out into neat rounds.

6. Use this recipe for: Gyros, Souvlaki, as naan for curries like Butter Chicken, Chickpea Curry or Beef Rendang.

 


 

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