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Selection of Artisanal Cheeses

An artisanal cheese is any cheese that has been both made and ripened naturally. Look for a well-stocked cheese shop with a knowledgeable staff to guide you. For a table of six guests, select three cheeses of differing ages and styles. To accompany the cheeses, serve our Pear, Endive and Walnut Salad (see related recipe at left).


  • 6 to 8 oz. ash-coated goat cheese, such as
      Valençay, Humboldt Fog or Selles-sur-Cher
  • 6 to 8 oz. semifirm cow's-milk cheese, such as
      Saint George, Carmody or Gruyère
  • 6 to 8 oz. blue-veined cheese, such as Saint-
      Agur, fourme dambert or dolcelatte Gorgonzola
  • Pesticide-free grapevine or fig leaves for serving
  • Nut bread for serving


About 2 hours before serving, remove the cheeses from the refrigerator, unwrap them and let them come to room temperature.

When ready to serve, line a wooden cheese board with the leaves and arrange the cheeses on it. Serve the bread in a basket alongside the board. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).