Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fancy (and Easy) Vegetarian Style Party Tray

Fancy Vegetarian-Style Cheese Tray // Bubby and Bean

I feel like fall is the beginning of "the season of the snack tray." Between Halloween parties, football gatherings, and family get togethers for the holidays (they'll be here before we know it, guys), we're bound to see more snack trays/platters/plates over the next few months than the rest of the year combined. Cheese is pretty much my spirit animal, but I'm a vegetarian (25 years and counting; yikes), and the vast majority of cheese trays are filled with meats as well. I get it - most people adore their meat somethin' fierce (I'm looking at you, husband), and the incorporation of meat makes snack trays feel more like mini meals. And most of the time, cheese trays without meats are pretty unimpressive to look at or consume.

Because of this, I saw a challenge, and I set out to design the perfect vegetarian-style cheese tray. I wanted to create a spread that would be visually appealing, and also feel as much like a mini meal as any meat-based cheese tray it might be up against. I also wanted it to be quick and easy. By using a variety of delicious premium cheeses, paired with vegetarian goodies like fruits, nuts, olives, and fresh bread, I did just that. Best of all, it only took a few minutes, and my friends (carnivore and veg alike) who came over that afternoon not only remarked on how pretty it was, they devoured it. Score! Read on for what you need to make one of your own.

  • Boar's Head Gold Label Imported Swiss® Cheese
  • Boar's Head Canadian Cheddar Cheese
  • Boar's Head Bold Chipotle Gouda Cheese
  • Boar’s Head Aged Gouda Cheese
  • Red grapes
  • Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • Black olives
  • Green olives
  • Raw almonds
  • Baguette or other crusty French bread, thinly sliced

Arrange on a platter or large plate. Serve. Done.

You can, of course, switch up the ingredients however you like. I think it would also be delicious with sliced pear, pumpkin seeds, apricot preserves, fresh basil, veggie "meat" slices, dried cranberries, and/or whole wheat crackers. A good variety of of high quality cheeses is the key thing here. For my cheese board, Boar's Head was a no brainer - their premium products are some of these most delicious I've tried, and contain no fillers, no by-products, no artificial colors or flavors, no gluten, and zero grams of trans fat.

About each cheese I chose for my tray:
Boar's Head Gold Label Imported Swiss® Cheese: Bold and nutty with earthy notes, this incredibly balanced Swiss import is crafted in the authentic Alpine tradition under the watchful supervision of Käse Meisters. Naturally low in sodium with a firm texture, this intensely flavorful cheese partners perfectly with Boar’s Head Corned Beef Brisket in a classic Reuben. Pairs well with Blonde Ale.

Boar's Head Canadian Cheddar Cheese: Aged for more than 1,000 days for a distinct, refined flavor with a little bit of crunch, this Cheddar is sure to appeal to the cheese aficionado. An ideal cheese for an antipasto plate, Canadian Cheddar combines well with Boar’s Head Peppered Salame. Pairs well with Hearty Red Zinfandel.

Boar's Head Bold Chipotle Gouda Cheese: Inspired by coastal Veracruz, Mexico, where jalapeños are cultivated, this cheese is an infusion of smoky chipotle spice and zesty peppers in buttery Gouda, hand-rubbed with a rich chipotle powder for an extra bold flavor. Chipotle Gouda layered with Boar’s Head Chipotle Chicken on a panini packs a flavorful punch! Pairs well with Riesling.

Boar’s Head Aged Gouda Cheese: An import that is aged for 28 months, this intense cheese has salty, sweet and sharp notes as well as a hint of butterscotch, transporting the taste buds to the Dutch countryside, where Gouda has been made for nine centuries. Aged Gouda is the perfect addition to a charcuterie plate or as a dessert cheese. Pairs well with Dark Beer.

Whether you're a vegetarian or just appreciate a fine cheese tray, I hope this one inspires you for your next party or get-together. You can also create your ideal cheese board online (and discover some new cheeses!) right here, and afterwards print a shopping list to re-create your cheese board at home to share with friends and family. Enjoy!

Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Sponsored posts feature only products or services that I genuinely feel would be of interest to my readers. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



  1. Mmmm...cheese and black olives! Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses.
    And paired with wine, what more could a girl ask for :)

  2. I love how beautiful yet simple this tray is!

  3. Mmmmm all the cheeses look so yummy and I love the presentation!!

  4. Yay for a cheese tray that isn't just meat and cheese! =) This looks delicious.

  5. This is fantastic. And I love Swiss Cheese!! It's so often underestimated for how delicious it can be on its own:)

  6. "Cheese is pretty much my spirit animal." Melissa, you are a girl after my own heart - plus, that line made me crack up! I am a meat eater now, much to my chagrin - I do love not being bald, though...! - but I still find cheese trays without any meat (because deli meats are just the worst) so much more appealing.

  7. Thanks for your comments everyone! I'd love to see pictures if you make a cheese board of your own. xo


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