The crunch of nuts is a tasty contrast to the creaminess of cheese. There are a few nuts that pair especially well with cheese. If using nuts on a cheese plate remember that nuts have a slight bitterness to them that is enhanced when served raw. The best way to use them is either when they’ve been toasted or candied/caramelized. Pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are usually best for cheese plates.
Serve them next to a cheese plate or sprinkle the nuts around a platter of cheese. Nuts are also the perfect garnish for salad recipes that include cheese.
Not all cheeses are a good match with nuts. Detailed below are my suggested matches.
Soft Ripened Cheeses – Brie and Camembert
Match with WARM PISTACHIOS—Warming the nuts brings out the lushness of the cheese while the salt and crunch offer a delightful contrast.
Recipe: Roasted pistachios, shelled and lightly salted
Preheat oven to 100 C. (200 F). Spread pistachios on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Toast nuts for 10 to 15 min. Serve warm with cheese.
Match with toasted walnuts or toasted almonds
This match heightens the texture contrast with cheese while enhancing their complementary buttery flavor and aroma. By adding a sparkling sugar coating to the nuts, the pairing becomes more complex, engaging every sensor in the palate.
To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds.
Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds. I also like Roasted pistachios.
Toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts.