Danielle Alvarez's Entertainer's cheese plate with spiced nuts

Create different heights to make a cheese plate look appealing.
Create different heights to make a cheese plate look appealing. Photo: William Meppem

Think of a cheese board as your get-out-of-jail-free card for last-minute entertaining. And to make it even more irresistible, I've added a side-snack of spiced nuts.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g gorgonzola dolce cheese (or any cheese of choice)
  • 400g Red Leicester cheese (or any cheese of choice)
  • 235g cheddar cheese (or any cheese of choice)
  • apple slices
  • pear slices
  • red grapes
  • fennel, finely sliced
  • honey
  • crackers
  1. Bring the cheese to room temperature and choose an attractive serving platter.
  2. While the nuts are baking (see recipe), arrange the cheeses on the board first, slicing or crumbling the hard cheeses to make it easier for guests to help themselves. Then layer on fruits, vegetables and other garnishes, including a handful of spiced nuts in a bowl, creating different heights to make it look appealing. 

Spiced nuts

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g mixed nuts
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of cayenne, optional
  • big pinch of sea salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional). In a medium bowl combine all the spiced nuts ingredients and mix well to coat.
  2. Spread the nuts out over a baking tray and bake for 6-10 minutes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Fruit punch

Serving a big jug of fruit punch when guests arrive means you don't need to worry about pouring individual drinks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100ml water
  • 100g sugar 
  • 300ml grapefruit juice
  • 200ml lime juice
  • 500ml chilled sparkling water
  • 400ml ginger beer
  • 300ml gin or vodka (optional)
  • ice cubes
  • citrus slices (or any fruit of choice) to serve

METHOD

  1. Make a simple syrup by boiling the water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, stir and let it simmer until the sugar dissolves. Immediately remove from stove and allow to cool.
  2. To make the punch, combine all the liquids in a large jug. Add ice, citrus or fruit slices of choice and serve immediately.

Recipe bought to you by ALDI.

Visit your local ALDI store for fresh Aussie produce and award-winning groceries

This recipe is from Good Food's new TV show, Good Food Kitchen, screening on Channel 9 at 1pm Saturday, October 23, or catch up on 9Now.