Eek, it’s spring!
If you remember me saying I wished I was able to experience a winter this year, I’m going to contradict myself and say I am so excited for spring to finally be here!
The thing is, I absolutely love all seasons, and I love everything they offer. In the summer, I love the oceans. I love being outdoors, running, grilling, playing. I love the crispness of autumn. The warming foods and the beginning of the holiday season. I love the coziness of winter. Cuddling up in a big warm blanket, sipping some hot cocoa, and everything about Christmas. And in the spring I love the newness. The new leaves on all the trees, the new blooms blossoming everywhere, and Easter. I love Easter.
The only thing I may love more than Easter is a cheeseboard made specifically for the holiday.
I knew on this cheeseboard I wanted to make a dip for vegetables. Because something about springtime makes me actually want to eat all the vegetables. Which is a rarity the rest of the year. At first I was thinking a standard ranch dip, but it didn’t really fit in with the rest of my “cheese” theme. Or at least not enough. I tried to think of what cheese would make a good dip, and then it dawned on me – goat cheese! So, I decided that the star of the show was going to be a whipped goat cheese dip. I’ve incorporated goat on my cheeseboards in the past, but never whipped like this. Pulsing it in a food processor with cream cheese and seasonings brings a whole new level to a fan favorite. Trust me.
For the other cheeses, I chose my tried and true favorite: extra sharp white cheddar, and Parmesan. However, when I saw this Wensleydale with cranberries sitting on the shelf, I was sold! The cheese is a young cheese, giving it a clean and mild flavor with a creamy texture. And the cranberries provide a gentle sweetness that pairs perfectly with the rest of the board.
As I mentioned before, the inspiration for this board was vegetables. And having a dip for them. And while I could have spread that whipped goat cheese dip on absolutely everything, I figured I should probably add a few veggies for spring’s sake. Crunchy veggies like baby carrots and thinly sliced radishes.
Also ham. Deli ham definitely needed to make an appearance. Because what is Easter without ham?!
My next train of thought was having sweets. And I wanted to encompass all categories of sweets: natural and decadent. So I picked up an assortment of fruit: strawberries, blackberries, grapes and kiwis. And as much as someone could argue that ham does not belong on their Easter dinner table, it’s quite refutable that chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies don’t make an appearance in the Easter basket. So I picked up some Cadbury chocolate eggs and a Lindt milk chocolate bunny.
So now that my board had cheese. And veggies. Fruit and chocolate. I needed to add crunch. These sea salt pita chips are the best vehicle to take that creamy goat cheese dip from its egg shaped bowl to my mouth! And those coconut praline pecans. My gosh. Can anything be more addictive?! And to add just a bit more sweetness, a little more crunch, and a lot more cuteness, I loaded up the board with some Annie’s bunny grahams!
To finish off my Easter-inspired cheeseboard aesthetically, I added fresh blooms from a spring bouquet I picked up from the market.
Whipped Goat Cheese Dip
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 8 oz. plain goat cheese
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
In a food processor, pulse the peeled garlic clove until it is finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth and creamy. Spoon into serving bowl and serve!