Learn how to put together the perfect appetizer for a casual party: a cheese plate starring easy-to-make rosemary cashews.
For the latest installment of our Evite Eats series, our in-house party stylist, Jessica Bailey, put together one of her favorite appetizers for a casual get-together: a cheese plate starring her Aunt Mae’s rosemary cashews.
- 1 pound unsalted cashews
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spread cashews out on the foil. Toast in the oven until warm, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine rosemary, cayenne, salt, sugar, and butter. Toss the cashews with the spiced butter and serve warm.
Now for the always-a-crowd-pleaser cheese plate: Jessica included a hard cheese (manchego), a soft cheese (goat cheese), and a blue cheese so there’s something for everyone. Her crackers of choice are La Panzanella’s Rosemary Croccantinis, though any rosemary or plain cracker will work. Offer the rosemary cashews and fruit to munch on; grapes are the classic choice, but Jessica couldn’t resist adding the figs, since they’re rarely in season. Her crowning touch? Truffle honey for guests to drizzle on their cheese and crackers.
Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving, since cold mutes the flavor. Serve with napkins or small plates, and put out a different knife for each cheese.
- Blue cheese
- Goat cheese
- Fresh figs
- Champagne grapes
- Truffle honey
- Rosemary crackers
- Rosemary cashews
Finally, Jessica’s tips for pairing drinks with your cheese plate: You can’t go wrong with Sauvignon Blanc. If you’d rather serve beer, choose something light, such as Blue Moon, Hangar 24, or Allagash, to match the mostly mild cheeses. Want to switch up the cheese and serve something sharper (aged cheddar tasting, anyone)? A beer such as Guinness pairs beautifully.
Got your own can’t-miss cheese plate tips? Post them in the comments below.