I love a good food trend, especially if it involves carbs. I jumped on the Garden Focaccia bandwagon as well as Pretzel Focaccia last summer, tested the no-churn ice cream trend a few years ago, enjoy drinking shrub cocktails, and I don't think I need to even mention my obsession with all things Instant Pot, from pasta to shellfish. I'm also shocked I was not more aware of the Bruschetta Board trend, and can't wait to give that a try at my next party.
So when I saw a recipe and video from Food Network for a grilled cheeseboard on social media this summer, I was more than a little intrigued. Cheese and charcuterie on a board that's edible? Who wouldn't love that? I decided to give it a try for my book club as my ladies love being my guinea pigs!
The beauty of this board is that you can serve it for parties as an appetizer or make it a meal by serving along with a salad and/or veggie sides like I did. Since book club is on a weeknight, I chose to purchase fresh, store-bought pizza dough, but if you have more time, this pizza dough recipe is a great one if you want to make your dough from scratch.
The customization of the board is only limited by your imagination. I made quite a few tweaks to the ingredients on the Food Network board based on my own tastes and what I had available. Below is what I did, but feel free to change the cheeses, nuts, olives and meats to whatever you like.
By grilling this bread, it creates a warm vessel to hold the cheese which means the cheese will get a little melty as it sits. You'll actually cook the brie into the board so that it is warmed through - my favorite way to eat brie!
Of course, if you don't want to grill it, you can also bake it in the oven, but you'll want to flip it onto the back of a sheet pan or a pizza stone, if it will fit. My pizza stone is not that big, so I haven't tried that method but others have and said 425 degree convection oven worked well. My inner pizza baker doesn't think that temp is high enough, so do it on the grill if you can.
Grilled Edible Cheeseboard
Servings: 8-12 as an appetizer, 4-6 as a meal
1 cup red grapes
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 cup Marcona almonds
1 cup of your favorite olives (I used whole Castelvetrano green olives - be sure to warn your guests if the olives have pits.)
One 8-ounce wheel brie cheese
1 log goat cheese
1 cup cubed Gouda or other hard cheese of your choice (about 4 ounces)
1 cup cubed cheddar or other hard cheese of your choice (about 4 ounces)
8 ounces combination of sliced cured meats, such as salami, prosciutto or mortadella
2 pounds refrigerated pizza dough, at room temperature (Note: If you buy two 1-pound balls of pizza dough, knead them together before bringing to room temperature.)
- Ramekins or heat-proof dishes/jars of various sizes
- Sheet Tray
1. Cover ramekins and/or jars with aluminum foil. If you don't have a ramekin for the size spot that you need in your board, you can crumple sheets of foil and shape into discs. For example, I didn't have a small rectangular dish, so I created a 'box' out of foil for the goat cheese. Arrange your foil placeholders on the board so you can see what your spacing is like, then set aside.
2. Spread 2 tablespoons olive oil on the bottom and sides of a sheet pan. Don't be skimpy here! This is what keeps the dough from sticking to the pan.
3. Scatter the grapes and apricots in a single layer around the border of the sheet pan. Arrange the aluminum discs in the open space inside the fruit border, making sure they don’t touch.
4. Roll out the pizza dough on a clean work surface so it is the same size as the sheet pan. Carefully lift it and lay it over the top of the foil discs, grapes and apricots. Be sure to press the dough down around the foil discs as much as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until puffy, about 1 hour.
5. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Mine was around 500 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from the sheet pan and put the pan on the grill. Cover the grill with the lid and let cook until the dough is set around the edges and dry on top, about 8-10 minutes.
6. Using oven mitts, flip the sheet pan onto the grill so the foil, grapes and other ingredients are facing up; remove the sheet pan. Cover the grill and cook until the dough is lightly golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Pro tip: Remove the small grate most grills have to create a second rack (you can see mine in the pictures above). I failed to do this until I saw that my cheeseboard wouldn't fit without removing it. So, get that out of the way first.
7. Remove one of the larger discs and insert the brie into the indented bread bowl where the disc was. Cover the grill and cook until the dough is completely cooked and golden all over and the cheese is hot through, about 5 minutes.
8. Transfer the edible cheeseboard to a serving platter or large cutting board using tongs. Remove the remaining foil discs and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil, avoiding the brie. Put the olives and cheeses in the medium bowls. Fold and tuck the cured meat into the remaining large bowl. Sprinkle the nuts around. Serve the cheeseboard warm, encouraging people to tear off pieces of bread (or have a pizza cutter handy for less mess) to layer with meat and cheese.
This board went beautifully with a glass of rosé for a lively book club discussion on the deck. It was fun to look at, eat and of course, it tasted delicious. It was definitely a new take on the regular cheese and charcuterie board that I will do again when entertaining.
If you are interested in learning more grilling pizza techniques, don't miss these upcoming classes:
Whole Wheat Pizza with Seasonal Stone Fruit, Basil and Goat Cheese
Herb-Crusted Pizza with Grilled Fennel, Artichokes and Prosciutto
Deep Dish Pizza with Mushrooms and Roasted Peppers
Hands-On Summer in the City on the Patio Friday, September 10 6:30pm Lincoln Square featuring Grilled Pesto Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
Grilling Workshop Demo on the Patio Saturday, September 11 11am Lincoln Square featuring Grilled Pizza with Zucchini and Goat Cheese
Grilling Boot Camp Saturday, October 23 10am Lincoln Square featuring Grilled Pizza with Spicy Sausage, Roasted Peppers and Goat Cheese
And if making bread from scratch intrigues you, our Artisanal Breads Boot Camp is already sold out in September, so be sure to reserve a spot in October's session on Saturday, October 16 at 10am at Lincoln Square.