1. For the Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once olive oil is hot, add finely diced shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved, being careful not to allow the sugar to scorch.
2. Add the black pepper, balsamic vinegar and strawberries, stirring to coat. Bring to a low boil then reduce to simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
3. Remove from the stove and cool completely. Once cooled, the jam will thicken and the flavors will mellow. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. The jam will be fresh for about one month.
4. About 30 minutes prior to serving, remove from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature before serving with cheese.
1. When creating an attractive cheeseboard, include the following: At least 3 Castello® cheeses, all with different flavor characteristics, shapes and textures.
2. Serve cheese at room temperature, this is where their flavors are allowed to shine. Allow 2 to 4 ounces of cheese per person.
3. An assortment of breads, crackers and fruits (dried & fresh).
4. Add a spread, like Strawberry Balsamic with Black Pepper jam, or other chutneys or compotes. Pesto or Mustard are also great additions depending on the theme of the cheese board.
5. Offer other tasty treats, such as chocolates, candied bacon, cured meats or nuts (both salty or candied).
6. Display the gourmet spread on a board or platter, or both. Thoughtfully arrange the cheeses and pairings to be visually appealing. Label your cheeses with decorative cheese labels/markers.