Per request! Many moons ago, we made a summer cheese here. It was simple, had a few handmade components but was super quick to throw together. Since then, and especially lately with the holidays coming up, there have been requests for a fall version. It’s not so much that cheese has a season, but the accoutrements do. Slightly heavier cheeses, fall fruits, darker foresty vibes with the herbs and colors.
I included four cheeses: Emmi Le Gruyère, a young blue cheese, a soft goats’ cheese and a firmer, saltier one, such as pecorino, (or a dry manchego is great too). Emmi Le Gruyère is a great specialty cheese to upgrade a recipe or prepare a cheeseboard. I used it in the mini sandwiches because it melts well and has lots of flavor. I made a candied walnut to go along with the blue cheese, drizzling honey and herbs on the goat and leaving the dry cheese cut up. I like to have other bits for snacking that will satisfy the non-cheese lovers. I added fresh pears, grapes, dates, olives — this adds variety, visual interest, and covers a variety of diets, so at least everyone has a snack. I’ll be sure one of my crackers is gluten free, cause it seems someone always is. One of our favorite nights this past year was hosting a game night for friends and I asked everyone to bring an app to share. Funnily enough, every single couple brought some form of a cheese plate, so next time I’ll be more specific :) Anyway, if you find yourself needing cheese plate inspiration this season. Hope the below may help!
mini apple + gruyère grilled cheese
You could use pear in place of the apple, or even included a thin slice of ham if that’s your deal.
2 crisp apples, cored and sliced thin
4 ounces of Emmi Le Gruyère, grated
Butter or olive oil, for cooking
Slice the baguette into thin slices.
Heat a slick of butter or olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. On a slice of bread, give it a swipe of Dijon, a generous sprinkle of Gruyère, a few apple slices, another sprinkle of Gruyère and then top with another piece of bread. Griddle the mini sandwiches for about 2 minutes on each side until the crust is golden and then cheese is melted. Repeat in batches with remaining ingredients.
These can be made in advance and warmed in a 250’ oven for 5 minutes before serving to refresh them.
If you stock pecans, those will work great here too. Make extras, these are so yummy in green salads.
1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. light brown sugar
3/4 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350’ and line a small baking tray with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, warm the butter, maple and brown sugar together till combined. Add the walnuts and stir to coat. Spread them on the baking sheet and roast for 5-6 minutes until dried and just toasted. Remove to cool completely to crisp up. These can be made up to a week in advance and kept covered until ready to use. (Also great in salads!)
Mini sandwiches with Gruyère and apples
A wedge of blue cheese with the crumbled candied nuts on top
Soft goats’ cheese (chevrè) drizzled with honey and a handful of fresh thyme leaves and ground pepper
A dry, salty cheese: such as pecorino, parmesan, aged manchego
A dish of assorted olives
Dates - pitted if you wish
Salami, if that’s your deal
Crackers: a few different sizes, shapes
Herb bundles on there for color
This post is sponsored by Emmi. They make the delicious Gruyère featured here, amongst other award winning cheeses. See their site and locator to find where you may be able to find their brand near you. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thank you for supporting our partners, so that I may continue to create recipes here.