Anyone who knows cheese plates follows @dennistheprescott on Instagram. A regular contributor to Food and Wine, he periodically graces his followers with gorgeous arrangements of meats, cheeses and veggies. To put it simply, he is the master of aesthetically balancing a flawless charcuterie board.
So we went on a mission to replicate one of his signature spreads with just a trip to Trader Joe’s and $25 in hand. And yes, it’s possible. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Goat’s milk brie
- Monterey Jack jalapeño cheese
- Sliced prosciutto
- Fig butter
- Greek olive medley
- Brioche toasts
Totaled just shy of $25, all you need then is a plate that’ll do your spread justice. Now for the set-up.
Start With Cheese
Arrange your cheeses on opposite corners to anchor your plate. In true Dennis The Prescott fashion, we paired a lively, spicy Monterey Jack jalapeño cheese with a round goat’s milk brie. This duo offers a variety of color, shape, and size in your presentation.
Balance With Color
The vibrant pops of red in the prosciutto and tomatoes bring your cheese plate to life. Besides their aesthetic appeal, each adds different textures to accompany the taste of your soft cheeses.
Center With Olives
Colored olives make for a delicious and eye-catching focal point. We opted for Trader Joe’s Greek medley, a flavorful blend of purple and green olives.
Garnish With Basil
Every cheese plate needs a little green garnish as a filler. Fragrant basil makes for an easy choice that naturally complements cheese. Lay your garnish sporadically throughout the plate.
Fill With Crackers and Tomatoes
Wherever your plate is lacking, fill it with tomatoes and a few brioche crackers. The key to an impressive spread is a packed plate, so don’t be afraid to add a little extra prosciutto or a few more olives if yours is looking a little empty.
Add a Dollop of Fig Butter
The final touches call for a spread of some sort, and Trader Joe’s fig butter is one of their most underrated products. Carefully dollop some on the side to top the plate off.
The Final Product
Spread some fig butter on a brioche cracker, and pair with your choice of cheese, meat or olive. There’s no wrong combination. And there you have it: the perfect cheese plate, inspired by Dennis the Prescott himself.