What's not to love about a cheeseboard? Especially when a beautiful piece of carefully crafted cheese is matched with flavours and textures that complement its unique properties. As a vegetarian that loves eating out, I often opt for the cheeseboard instead of ploughing my way through another risotto or red onion tartlet – often a much safer bet, and far more interesting.
Gruyère Reserve AOP is a long-aged mountain cheese with complex flavours and aromas from the unique flora and fauna found in its unpasteurised milk. These volatile aroma compounds can be matched with a really interesting range of ingredients – some of which I have included on this cheeseboard – making for an elegant, unusual cheese plate with many layers of sophisticated flavour.
Hazelnuts complement the nutty flavours of Gruyère, especially when roasted. Buckwheat honey goes particularly well with this cheese; this is strongly flavoured honey, to many an acquired taste, but its farmyard flavours and distinct aromas echo similar properties in the Gruyère. Oats also go well with this cheese, so I have paired the Gruyère with classic oatcakes, made with a little buckwheat flour to further unite the flavours – a delectable, crumbly vehicle to move cheese to mouth. Berries offer a sweet/tart burst of flavour, always welcome on a cheeseboard, and help highlight gentle fruity notes in long-aged cheeses. A beautifully matured Port, its sweetness working exceptionally well with strong cheeses, finishes the plate.
Great for a creative end to a luxurious dinner, or for the final Christmas course, nibbled and sipped as the evening wears on.