The Blog

Irresistible Italian Cheese Plate, The Perfect Cheese Platter

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Italian Cheese Plate

Take your next Italian Cheese Plate to an entirely new level with an irresistible selection of italian cheeses, heavenly prosciutto and a few delightful twists. This recipe is all about reinventing the traditional cheese platter just in time for Christmas with a few techniques that will leave your guests surprised, delighted and reaching for more. One part unconventional, all parts Delicious, you can choose to prepare one or more of the cheesy recipes below, just be sure to serve them with a side of Prosecco!

Watch the video below to learn How to Make the Perfect Cheese Platter:

Basile Imports partnered with Vincenzo's Plate to showcase some of my favourite Italian products. Christmas is such a special time of year to spoil yourself with delicious dishes and sweet treats so I couldn't help but make a careful selection of Italian cheeses, ensuring a mix of salty and smooth so there really is something for everyone. Items highlighted in the video really are a MUST-TRY; You'll experience cheese like never before!

Parmesan Baskets Filled with Dry Figs and Fennel
Mini cheese baskets made out of Auricchio Parmigiano Reggiano are a beautiful touch to your cheese plate and my twist on serving the infamous salty delight.

Auricchio Parmigiano Reggiano
Small fennel head
5-10 dried figs
Balsamic glaze

Sharp knife
Medium bowl
Baking tray
Baking paper

1. Cut a thick piece of Auricchio Parmigiano Reggiano and grate it into a medium size bowl.
2. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees.
3. Sprinkle a small amount of grated cheese onto the baking paper, forming the shape of a disc, and be careful there are no gaps.
4. Repeat step 3 until there is no cheese left!

Vincenzo's Plate Tip: Depending on how many people you are serving, cater for approx. 2 per head.

5. Place the tray into the oven at 160 degrees C and cook the discs for approx. 5 minutes.
6. Place the mini liquor glasses upside down so the spout is facing down.
7. Remove the tray from the oven and slide each disc off the baking paper, quickly placing it on top of the glass and pressing down gently. This process will help the ends of the basket to become curly and hold the ingredients inside.
8. Once these have cooled down, gently remove the discs and place them all upright so the opening is at the top.
9. Add a small portion of dried figs and fennel to the cheese basket, then just before serving, add a drizzle of honey and another of balsamic glaze.

Auricchio Pecorino Cheese with Tartufo Bruschetta
Bruschetta is a classic dish served all over the world, most often with tomato, but have you ever tried it with just cheese? Sound simple? It is. Turn this into a masterpiece by melting scrumptious tartufo pecorino on top and never go back!

Auricchio Pecorino with tartufo
Slices of fresh pane di casa

Sharp knife
Baking tray
Baking paper

1. Cut into a hearty loaf of fresh "Pane di casa" Italian bread, slicing as many pieces as you need for your guests.
2. Place the slices onto a tray, lined with baking paper leaving a small amount of room in between.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees celcius.
4. Take one wheel of divine Auricchio Pecorino with tartufo cheese and cut it in half, then again, and one last time.
5. Place one piece of cheese on its side and cut up as many slices as you can, making each one around 1cm thick. Repeat using other pieces if you need to.
6. Once you have finished, cover each slice of bread with a piece of cheese.
7. Take a deep breath in....and smell the flavour of cheese heaven...!
8. Place this tray in the oven for 5 minutes (or until the cheese has fully melted).

Auricchio Asiago cheese wrapped in radicchio and prosciutto
Delicious prosciutto involtini filled with melted italian cheese and crisp radicchio lettuce. Easy to make, pretty on the eye, and DIVINE on your tastebuds. These really are hard to resist!

Auricchio Asiago Cheese
Small head of radicchio lettuce
6 - 8 Slices of fresh pane di casa
6 - 8 slices of San Nicola Prosciutto di Parma

Sharp knife
Baking tray
Baking paper

1. Rinse and pat dry several pieces of radicchio lettuce.
2. Cut up the Asiago cheese into 1cm thick strips.
3. Lay down slices of San Nicola Prosciutto on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place a few radicchio leaves in the middle (on top).
4. Add the strip of Asiago cheese to the centre of each portion and roll all of the ingredients together.

Vincenzo's Plate Tip: Some of the radicchio lettuce will stick out of each morsel - this is a good sign, so don't trim it as the lettuce will shrink in the oven.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have as many servings as required.
6. Place the tray in the oven at 160 degrees C for between 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lettuce has started to brown in colour.

How to Serve:
1. Get your favourite wooden serving board and place a portion of green olives in the centre.
2. Add some arrancini balls and crisp bread to the cheese plate.
3. Place each of your creations in bundles, covering each corner of the italian cheese plate.
4. Serve immediately, while still warm with a freshly chilled glass of sparkling Valdobbiadene Prosecco.

Vincenzo's Plate Tip: If you have a large serving board, add some dried figs (chopped), nuts, grapes and strawberries for texture and a splash of colour to this stunning Italian cheese plate.

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo's Plate...Enjoy!