We’ve seen glimpses of what summer will look like around here with a few warm nights. The minute the weather heats up we are outside enjoying every minute, which for us means lots of dining al fresco and simple meals. When the heat of the summer comes, it’s prime entertaining time…but it’s also the least fun time of year to be in a hot kitchen in front of the stove. So, today I wanted to share one of our favorite dinners. One that we think is the best summer dinner party menu idea…or any menu idea for that matter. A gorgeous, no-cook delicious meal- A cheese and charcuterie platter.
When we spent the summer in Europe we grew to love simple, beautiful meals and many of them involved a cheese and or charcuterie course. Beautiful boards with small samplings of local cheeses, dried meats, fruit, honey, chutneys and more. They were divine. We have since taken a few cheese courses at local specialty shops and we love to create our own boards.
These easy cheese and charcuterie boards make the best summer dinner party menu idea or easy family night menu because they are simple to prepare, don’t involve any cooking and allow you to enjoy the local flavors of the season. You can prepare them well ahead of your guests arriving and make your entertaining stress free.
CHEESE PLATTER MENU IDEAS
Create themed boards:
It’s fun to take your tastebuds to travel around the world with meats, cheeses and accompaniments from specific countries. Pick a country you’ve always wanted to visit and choose three cheese from that region. I like to vary my choices with different textures and sharpness of flavor. Ask your local cheesemonger for recommendations. Most large grocery stores these days have one…you can definitely find a great cheesemonger at Whole Foods.
Not convinced that you can make a meal out of cheese? Try a dessert board. Soft cheeses like brie are amazing on a baguette and paired with local honey. You might even wonder if you ever need to eat cake again. 😉 Mix nuts and dried fruits and dark chocolate in with your dessert cheese selections for a very sweet board.
HOW MUCH CHEESE TO BUY
Rule of thumb for creating a cheese board is 2 ounces of each cheese per person if you are serving it as an appetizer or dessert course. If you are serving a plate for dinner, 5 ounces of each cheese per person should be plenty. Trust me. It doesn’t necessarily look like much, but it is surprisingly filling…especially when paired with fruit and nuts and crackers and bread.
We love to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather and listen to music while we chat as a family. Our favorite music of choice? TSF JAZZ live from Paris. They have an app you can download and listen to the music streaming live from France. So fun! We find that when we eat like this, it takes us longer too, which gives us even more time to chat.
This little guy loves to just lay on the grass next to us and watch for any crumbs to drop. 😉
Give this yummy dinner idea a try this summer. I think you will agree, whether you are feeding a crowd or just your family, that this is the best summer dinner party menu idea around!
Looking for more easy entertaining ideas? Check out these posts:
Easy Entertaining Brunch Parfait Bar
5 Easy Summer Entertaining Tips
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