A cocktail hour essential featuring our Coconut Orange Peel almonds

With the gorgeous sunny weather finally here in Michigan, the last thing I want to do is spend countless hours in the kitchen whipping up hors d'oeuvres, so I've made this antipasto platter my go-to when hosting. It takes no more than 15 minutes to assemble and is guaranteed to have your guests swooning [insert heart eyes emoji here]. And of course, because the Coconut Orange Peel almonds pair beautifully with any cheese they're the perfect addition.

 

Shopping list (visit your local cheese shop or specialty store - I went to Plum Market):

- 3-4 different cheeses *remember: you're shopping for your guests (not only yourself!), so choose a variety of cow, goat, sheep-based cheeses that range from soft to firm

- 2-4 fruit and vegetables *choose a variety that are easy to eat and not messy - I went with grapes, strawberries, apples, and radishes

- 1-2 dried fruit *they're are easy to grab and pair great with cheese - I went with dried apricots

- 1-2 pickled vegetables *again, choose ones that are easy to eat - I used cornichons and peppadew peppers (make sure to strain well so it doesn't leak on the platter)

- 1-2 charcuterie/meat - *I used a salami, but other great options are mortadella and prosciutto 

- 1-3oz package of Coconut Orange Peel Lush Nuts almonds

 

Prep:

- wash and pat-dry all fruit and vegetables

- slice the radishes into discs and the apple into medium slices

- cube larger chunks of cheese a.k.a. aged sharp cheddar

- for cheeses that are in wedges remove end pieces of rind, but keep the outermost rind for easy pickup (see photo)

- for cheeses that crumble like blue and parmigiano, leave whole

 

Assembly:

- start by placing the larger pieces first like the grape clusters

- next arrange the cheeses, but do not cluster - give them some space! Slightly fan the sliced cheeses and pile the cubes. For the cheeses that crumble, leave whole, but using a cheese knife break off a few pieces so it doesn't feel too perfect and guests are afraid to dig in

- place the rest of the fruit, veg, charcuterie, and pickled veg on the platter making sure not to place the same group of items together (i.e. don't place all the fruit in one corner)

- lastly, add the Coconut Orange Peel almonds 

 

Snap some pics, and enjoy!