Vegan Cheeseboard and Cocktail

Depending on where you’re standing, the 14th is either the best day of them all in our 365 day trip around the sun; or it’s the damn worst. Actually, who are we kidding, it’s definitely the worst – but, man, do we love an excuse to be spoilt. And so we should!

The whole thing, however, just makes me think of Parks & Rec and Galentine’s Day (which is the 13th) and the “TREAT YO’SELF” episode. Neither of which are terrible things to be reminded of.

No matter where on the romance-spectrum you may fall in 2018, we think this is the perfect excuse for a cheeseboard and a cocktail. Because, well, treat yo’self!

I love grazing and can’t think of a single better way to eat than a weighty cheeseboard. Actually, any kind of Mediterranean eating is right up my alley. Loads of fresh produce, a little protein (in plant form for me) and ALL of the olive oil. People even went through a phase of calling me Olive Oyl, but I think that’s a separate issue altogether. Point is, I love to snack – continuously – and if I can ensure it’s on healthy things while having good conversation, then you’d better believe that I’m in.

We made two nut cheeses – one almond, crumbly feta and one creamy, herbed cashew. Both are ridiculously good and honestly surprised us both in their cheesy flavours. The next step to making the perfect cheeseboard is to ensure you have a range of crackers. We added a flax cracker with sundried tomato and a plain seed and flax cracker too. There’s also the obvious choice of adding a perfect, freshly baked bread – but like I said, this is for all day snacking and since it’s meant to be a romantic day, I’d prefer not to feel like you could roll me like a hamburger roll at the end of it.

After you have your basic cheese and cracker, you literally just fill the board up with all of your favourite things. I think olives are a must, a good hummus – we used our Beetroot Hummus – baby carrots, sweet and in season grapes, figs, the last of the cherries, some tomatoes and gherkins for acidity and a smattering of berries to extend the flavours of the cocktail onto the board too.

Our Valentine’s cocktail is blackberries, prosecco (like I said, Mediterranean…) and a little bit of thyme. Because thyme heals all wounds (Sorry). Whether you’re partial to a drink or not, we can all agree that bubbly makes us bubbly. Pair that with a wonderful friend, or group or friends; or your partner (or group of partners?), a balmy February evening, plus this cheeseboard and we promise you that whether you’re in your pajamas at home or having a sunset picnic on the beach, you’re going to fall in love on the 14th.

It might be with our cheese; but this is a no-judgement space and we obviously don’t mind.
And remember, in the wise words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”.

Recipe

Ingredients
Cheeseboard
  • Beetroot Hummus
  • Seedless White Grapes
  • Seedless Red Grapes
  • Ripe Figs
  • Cherries
  • Pitted Olives
  • Flaxseed Crackers
  • Sesame Seed Crackers
  • Vegan Feta Cheese
  • Vegan Herbed Cheese
  • Marinated Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Fresh Blackberries
  • Pickled Gherkins
  • Raw Baby Carrots
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Raw Baby Radish
For the Cocktail
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Blackberries
  • 2tbsp Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • Chilled Champagne/Prosecco
  • Few Sprigs of Thyme
Instructions
For the Cheeseboard:
  1. The ingredients list we’ve provided is simply an indication of what we love to have on a cheeseboard, feel free to vary the ingredients. Its all about your preference. Add all ingredients you have available, place it on a large enough board and don’t forget to share with your favourite human.
For the Cocktail:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the berries have slightly reduced. You can muddle the berries slightly with a spoon to release a more intense colour.
  2. Add 2 – 4 tbsp of syrup to the bottom of each glass. Top with champagne, fresh blackberries and add in a sprig or two of thyme.
  3. Best Served cold and enjoyed with your favourite human.