Spice Up Your Cheese Boards This Fall with This Simple Trick from Giada De Laurentiis

published Sep 3, 2022
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diptych of Giada de Laurentiis and charcuterie board.
Credit: L to R: Giadzy/Joe Lingeman
Left: Giada DiLaurentiis right: Trader Joe’s–Inspired Charcuterie Board 

Some of the best parts of fall are the crisp air, the spike in pumpkin spice recipes showing up on social media feeds, and, of course, all of the warm fall gatherings and parties. After you finish sending out your invites and preparing for a group of friends and family to arrive, you’ll likely want to put out an impressive cheese board with plenty of unique cheeses, salty cured meats, and some fruit.

While there are a ton of different avenues to take when it comes to setting up the ultimate board of snacks and treats, sometimes simply mixing up a couple of tasty store-bought ingredients can make your board much more exciting.

Food Network Star, chef, and author Giada DeLaurentiis loves a festive cheese board as much as we do, but she has one fun trick for giving your board a kick: Mix your fig jam with just a little bit of Calabrian chili pepper paste and some lemon juice. The chef pairs a dollop of the mixture on top of crostini with Brie cheese, but the options are truly endless. To make the mixture, DeLaurentiis stirs together 1/2 cup fig jam, 1/2 teaspoon jarred Calabrian chili pepper paste, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Fig jam is a delicious addition to any early fall cheese board, but for those guests who love a sweet and spicy combo, they’ll absolutely appreciate this homemade condiment. Plus, you can use the mixture as a topping or filling for other small bites like melon with prosciutto, ricotta toast, or even stuffed mushrooms. With fall approaching, there’s plenty of time to think of all the possibilities!