Creating the Perfect Summer Cheese Board

by Maison Morand

Are you ready to throw your first party of the summer?

When the sun hits its peak and family and friends gather outside their homes to celebrate the weather, tables are adorned with various spreads. It’s the summer, and with togetherness comes great food. 

One of the greatest additions to any summer picnic table is a cheese board. The combination of various textures and flavors makes them an ideal centerpiece for outdoor gatherings. Using fresh cheeses like burrata, mozzarella, and stracciatella not only enhances the taste but also adds a touch of sophistication to the event.In this article, let’s talk about crafting the perfect cheese board featuring Burrata, Mozzarella, and Stracciatella.

Picking the Right Cheeses

Burrata, mozzarella, and stracciatella are celebrated for their creamy textures and subtle flavors. Burrata offers a buttery, rich taste with a creamy interior, while mozzarella is milky and slightly tangy with a firm texture. Stracciatella, made from stretched curd, is rich, creamy, and slightly sweet. In the UAE, sourcing high-quality cheeses involves visiting specialty stores such as Maison Morand or local suppliers known for their fresh products.

Making a Balanced Cheese Board

The combination of flavors and textures is paramount in creating the perfect cheese board. This balance makes each bite exciting and satisfying.

Start with your star cheeses: burrata, mozzarella, and stracciatella. Add contrasting textures and flavors with hard cheeses like aged cheddar or gouda, and blue cheeses like gorgonzola. Complement these with sweet elements like fresh figs, grapes, and honey, and savory additions like cured meats, nuts, and olives.

Including a mix of crunchy (nuts, crackers), soft (cheeses, spreads), sweet (fruits, honey), and savory (meats, pickles) items guarantees that all palates are satisfied.

Pairing Cheese with Summer Foods

Summer in the UAE is a time for light, refreshing foods. Pairing cheeses with seasonal fruits and vegetables can elevate your cheese board.

Burrata goes beautifully with tomatoes, peaches, and melons. The creaminess of the burrata enhances the juicy sweetness of these fruits. Mozzarella pairs well with fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, creating a classic and refreshing combination. Stracciatella is excellent with roasted peppers, zucchini, and figs.

Utilizing local produce not only supports local farmers but also ensures that your ingredients are fresh and flavorful

Creative Presentation and Serving Ideas

The presentation of your cheese board is just as important as the selection of cheeses. A beautiful cheese board can serve as a centerpiece for your party.

Use a large wooden board or a marble slab for a rustic yet elegant look. Arrange the cheeses first, followed by fruits, nuts, and other accompaniments. Add small bowls for dips, olives, and nuts. Garnish with fresh herbs and edible flowers for a touch of color.

As a rule of thumb, plan on about 3-4 ounces of cheese per person for a light snack, or 5-6 ounces if it’s the main attraction.

Here are some tips to get the best out of your cheese board: 

  • For best flavor, let the cheese warm to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Add color by filling large blank areas with sliced fruit, then place your crackers and nuts across the board in clusters. 
  • Place small spoons or serving utensils in bowls, and position cheese knives near the relevant cheeses. 

Look at your board and fill any bare spots with additional nuts or fruit. You might drizzle some honey over the soft cheese. Now, you’re ready to serve!

Using Cheese Beyond the Cheese Board

Got any leftover cheese from your cheese board? Cheeses like burrata, mozzarella, and stracciatella are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of summer dishes.

  • Burrata Caprese Salad: Layer slices of burrata with tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil for a simple yet delicious salad.
  • Mozzarella and Pesto Pasta: Toss fresh mozzarella with pasta, cherry tomatoes, and a generous serving of pesto for a light meal.
  • Stracciatella on Toast: Spread stracciatella on toasted bread, top with roasted vegetables or figs, and finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Using leftover cheese in salads, sandwiches, and even desserts ensures that nothing goes to waste and adds a gourmet touch to everyday meals.

Hosting Tips for a Great Summer Party

Planning and preparation are key to a successful summer cheese board party in the UAE.

  • Invitations: Send out invitations well in advance, and consider using digital invites for convenience.
  • Setting: Choose an outdoor setting if possible, but have a shaded area to keep the cheeses cool.
  • Timing: Early evening is ideal for outdoor summer parties to avoid the peak heat.
  • Décor: Use light, airy decorations with a touch of greenery to create a fresh, inviting atmosphere.
  • Cultural Considerations: Be mindful of local customs and dietary preferences. Offering a variety of halal options ensures that all guests can enjoy the spread.

The Future of Cheese Boards in the UAE

Cheese boards are becoming a staple at gatherings. Why? Due to the growing popularity of artisanal cheeses and the increasing availability of high-quality ingredients.

As tastes evolve, we can expect to see more innovative cheese boards featuring a mix of traditional and exotic ingredients. From themed boards to personalized selections, the possibilities are endless. The emphasis on fresh, local produce and creative presentations will continue to shape the future of cheese boards in the UAE.

Cheese boards are a fantastic addition to any summer party in the UAE. With the right selection of fresh cheeses like burrata, mozzarella, and stracciatella, complemented by a variety of fruits, nuts, and breads, you can create a delightful and memorable experience for your guests. Pairing with the right beverages, presenting the board beautifully, and using any leftovers creatively ensures that nothing goes to waste. By considering local customs and preferences, you can host a truly enjoyable event. Cheese boards are here to stay, and their popularity in the UAE is ready to grow.