There are few things I love more in this world than a loaded cheese board.
Okay, there’s sunsets and my grandparents and hiking and my childhood best friend (+her mom!) who gifted me this incredible handmade wooden board the very week I was planning to make and photograph aaallll the cheese, but still. Cheese boards rank very high on the list of things that make me happy.
I recently heard August described as the Sunday of summer; is there a more fitting description of this time of year? Summer is still solidly upon us, and yet the subtle creeping dread of another summer gone by without doing _____ is starting to permeate the back of my mind.
High on my list of things to do before summer ends are:
- go peach picking
- go on more picnics
- more swimming/beach-ing
- MAKE S’MORES (<-seriously, I can’t believe it’s August and I haven’t made a single freaking s’more yet)
- make a summer cheese board.
Actually, I can cross the cheeseboard off my list because last Thursday my sister Heather came up and we made/ate this cheesy, fruity feast. It was everything I could possibly want in a cheese board and I highly recommend making it into a lazy summer meal.
For this cheese board I went with the usual suspects:
a few different cheeses I had picked up in Vermont on our anniversary weekend
plenty of fresh summer produce like peaches, nectarines, figs, champagne grapes, heirloom tomatoes, and cucumbers
bread grilled with a little olive oil and salt plus two types of crackers
and some olives and almonds for a salty/crunchy bite.
I also decided to spice up my life (pun intended) and make a grilled corn and jalapeno goat cheese spread, because, WHY NOT? Sure, the Aged Raw Cheddar, Farmstead Blue, and Summer Snow Camembert were enough cheese- technically- but if we’re building the summer cheese board of our dreams, let’s go all out and make a spicy, tangy, slightly sweet and salty goat cheese spread too.
It’s the right thing to do.
If you’re already grilling dinner tonight, you could totally just throw on an extra ear of corn and a few jalapenos so they’re grilled, cooled, and waiting for you later in the week. Or, if you’re like me, you can crank up the flame on your stove and char the corn and jalapenos right in your kitchen. You could even just broil them in the oven if you don’t have a gas stove.
Whatever you do, you need this goat cheese spread in your life, ASAP. It’s made with equal parts soft goat cheese and full-fat Greek yogurt for a creamy, tangy, spreadable dip. The chunks of grilled corn and jalapeno get stirred in with plenty of fresh basil, salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of honey for the perfect balance to the sweet and spicy flavors in this spread.
All that’s left to do is assemble your cheese board, put out the bowl of goat cheese spread, maybe pour a glass of wine, and just be. You could sit outside and enjoy it on a beautiful summer evening, or take it to the park for an impromptu picnic. There’s no wrong way to enjoy a cheeseboard, and this one is the perfect way to celebrate the last moments of summer. Trust me.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see how it turns out! Leave a comment below or tag me in your pictures on Instagram! I love seeing what you make!
- 1 ear of corn, peeled
- 2 jalapenos
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- olive oil, to drizzle on top
- Various cheeses of choice (I used a Cheddar, a Blue, and a Camembert -about 4oz of each)
- Bread and crackers of choice (I used ciabatta bread, whole wheat crackers, and fig crackers)
- Summer produce like peaches, nectarines, figs, cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes
- Olives and Nuts (I used Kalamata Olives and rosemary Marcona Almonds)
- 1. Turn on your grill, gas stove, or broiler to char the corn and jalapenos. This may take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on which cooking method you choose. Be sure to turn them to get color on all sides. You're looking for the corn and jalapenos to have some grill/char marks on them, but don't worry about cooking them fully. A little extra crunch is nice in this spread.
- 2. Let the corn and jalapeno cool to room temperature, then cut the kernels off the cob and finely dice the jalapeno. I only used the jalapeno flesh, not the seeds, for a lower level of heat. If you like things fiery, try leaving in some or all of the seeds.
- 3. Add the jalapeno and corn to a mixing bowl with all other ingredients for the spread, and stir well to combine. Transfer into a small bowl with a drizzle of olive oil on top, and serve.
- 1. Assemble all your cheeses on a platter, letting them come to room temperature as you prepare the rest of the board.
- 2. Slice the bread, drizzle it with olive oil and a pinch of salt, then either grill, toast, or broil for 1-2 minutes per side until golden.
- 3. Arrange grilled bread and crackers on or near the board with the cheese.
- 4. Slice the fruit and vegetables and add them to the board with the olives and nuts.
- 5. Add the goat cheese spread on the side, and serve.
- This board could feed anywhere from 4-6 people as an appetizer, or 2-4 as a meal, depending on your hunger levels and how much you pile onto the board.