When I have friends over to dinner, my favorite pre-dinner nibble is a big plate of cheese and fruit. It's easy — just a little chopping and arranging, and tada! Hungry guests have something to eat, and I can finish cooking. Here's my latest addition to this type of hors d'oeuvre: a chopped KIND bar!
My usual formula for a pre-dinner cheese plate has three components: A light cheese, like the Jarlsberg on this particular plate; fresh fruit; and spiced or roasted nuts. But nuts are expensive, and I don't always keep them around. When I was at Fancy Food this past summer, I tried a bit of KIND bar with cheese, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. These not-too-sweet nut bars have just enough honey in them to complement the cheese, and their roasted nuttiness is really delicious on a cheese platter. And at about $1 apiece they are a quick and inexpensive way to amp up a cheese platter. (You can find them at many grocery stores and natural food stores.)
I think these are uniquely suited to the cheese platter, but you could also of course use other granola bars and nut bars. Just cut them into bite-sized pieces and arrange with the fruit and cheese.
What do you like to serve with cheese? Any particular kind of fruit? What's your favorite cheese for pre-dinner snacking?