The name means simply "Plate of Cheese", although it rather more exciting than the name implies. I find that this one is also ideal for a light summer lunch - at the weekend, since a glass of a fine red wine is strongly recommended with this one. Serve in the conservatory!
This is another one of those dishes which come out different each time I prepare them! Certainly, I like to use those jars and packets of fruit, nuts and vegetables which seem to accummulate in the cupboards and fridge. So, use your imagination here.
First, make up some of my Balsamic Salad Dressing.
On a separate plate for each person, put a small pile of mixed greens - I find the bags of "Bistro-style" leaves is enough for about 4 people. Sprinkle the leaves with some assorted dried fruit: raisins, sultanas, chopped apricots, etc. Also sprinkle some nuts: flaked almonds, chopped hazelnuts, halved pecans, pine nuts, etc. You might also try chopped sundried tomatoes, capers or sliced caperberries.
In the middle of each pile of leaves, add a few sweet items: grapes, cherry tomatoes, dates, black cherries, and the like. Also add some olives: black, green, kalamata, whatever you have to hand. Drizzle the leaves with the salad dressing.
Now the cheeses. Ideally, about eight different ones would be best, although you could get away with less. The idea is to arrange the cheese in increasing order of strength clockwise around the place, so that your guests can savour each one in turn. If at all possible, remove all the cheese from the fridge half an hour before you intend to eat, so that their flavours are at their best.
Using a sharp knife, cut and arrange small portions of each cheese around the side of the plate, resting on the edges of the leaves. Don't be tempted to make the portions too large - eight different cheese is quite a lot!
Serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread, a glass of a robust red wine and a separate glass of iced sparkling water.