Hot Grill Summer Cheese Plate

May 19, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Marissa Mullen
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

My parents fire up the grill all year long. Whether in the beating-hot summer sun or in the midst of a snowstorm, the seasons don't sway them from enjoying grilled meats and vegetables for dinner. My dad even coined the term "appe-dog," referring to the infamous hot dog appetizers that make an appearance at every barbecue. Grilling reminds me of family gatherings, joyful celebrations, and, for those of us who don’t grill year-round, the unofficial start of summer.

Now that I live in Brooklyn and don’t have any outdoor space, my grilling days are few and far between, so I venture out to the suburbs when I need a fix. This cheese plate is a perfect snacky meal or hefty appetizer (my own riff on the “appe-dog,” if you will) to set up for any warm-weather gathering, from a birthday picnic to a Memorial Day barbecue. I grill my way through juicy bratwursts and sweet and spicy peppers, then pair the charred delicacies with easy-melting cheeses like pepper jack and a semisoft truffle cow's milk cheese. I nestle in dill-pickle-seasoned potato chips, bread-and-butter pickles, and spicy mustard on the plate, then slather everything over a sliced baguette. Welcome to Hot Grill Summer: Yes, it’s a thing.
Marissa Mullen

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces shishito peppers
  • 3 precooked bratwursts, kielbasa, or pork or chicken sausages
  • 3 ounces Dijon, spicy brown, or honey mustard
  • 4 ounces bread-and-butter pickle chips
  • 1 baguette, sliced thin
  • 1 (8-ounce) block of pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 1 (8-ounce) wedge of cow's milk cheese with truffles (or Moliterno al tartufo, a truffled sheep's milk cheese), sliced into triangular wedges
  • 5 ounces dill-pickle-seasoned potato chips
  • Fresh dill, for serving
  • Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)
  1. Heat the grill to medium-high, about 400°F. If using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals on one side of the grill for indirect heating. Let the grates heat for at least 10 minutes before grilling. Alternatively, heat a grill pan on the stove over medium-high.
  2. With your hand, push down on each pepper half to flatten. Brush all sides of the pepper halves with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in total and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Toss the shishito peppers in a medium bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Using a grilling skillet (or on the grill pan), arrange the shishito peppers in an even layer over the heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping occasionally. Be careful—these peppers will pop! Cook until each side is blistered and browned. Remove and return to the bowl to cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, place the bell peppers directly on the grill grates (or on the grill pan), skin side up. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes and flip. Continue to grill until the peppers have softened and the skin is charred with grill marks, 1 to 4 minutes, depending on your grill’s strength. Remove to a cutting board.
  6. Reduce the grill heat to medium-low, about 300°F, and place the bratwursts directly on the grill grates or in the grilling skillet (or on the grill pan over medium-low heat on the stove), cooking until warmed through, about 6 to 8 minutes, and rotating every couple minutes to achieve a crispy exterior. Remove and place on the cutting board with the peppers.
  7. While the peppers and bratwursts cook, set up the cheese plate on a rectangular board or plate: Place the mustard and pickles in small serving bowls and arrange the bread, cheese, and potato chips.
  8. Slice one bratwurst link (you can slice the others if you’d like, or leave them whole for visual variation) and slice the bell peppers lengthwise.
  9. Arrange the peppers and bratwursts on the cheese plate and garnish with fresh dill and flowers (if using). Serve immediately.

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Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.

1 Review

Gilgobeach May 19, 2021
A great mix of flavors all in one bite!