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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Serves 4

The beauty of an olive and cheese board is that most red wines will pair well with it. If you’re considering a cocktail to start the evening, a gin-based one will pair best with the olives.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 12 slices Herbed salami
  • 12 slices Schinkenspeck
  • 5 oz. Honey chèvre
  • 5 oz. Wensleydale cranberry cheese
  • 16 breadsticks
  • 2 cups assorted nuts with dried cherries
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 8 spiced Sicilian green olives, pitted
  • 8 Castelvetrano olives
  • 8 assorted red olives
  • 4 caper berries
  • 4 dried apricots

WHAT YOU DO:

To prepare:

  1. Prepare a coating for the chèvre: Scoop ¼ cup of the nuts and dried cherries into a small resealable plastic bag. Using a heavy-bottomed glass, crush them and pour them onto a shallow plate. Roll the honey chèvre into the crushed nuts, gently pressing the nuts so they stick to the cheese.
  2. Last minute: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the remain- ing nuts and the rosemary sprig on a baking sheet and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve warm in a bowl on the board.
  3. Serve the other components in the style that works best for you (see page 23 for tips), then arrange everything on and around your board.

Tips:

  1. The hero on this board is really the olive and cheese com- bination. It can easily be scaled up with the addition of more olive and cheese varietals (it can also be scaled down).
  2. To set a winter scene, wrap a clean white flour-sack towel or piece of cheesecloth under your board and scatter ever- green branches from the yard or snow-capped pinecones from a craft store around it.

Recipe excerpted from On Boards