You can't really go wrong with fruit and cheese as an appetizer, so for this dish I chose an arrangement of figs, plums, almonds, and Spanish Manchego. Ingredients
- 3 black plums
- 2 figs
- 4 almonds
- 3 raisins
- 1 small block of Manchego
The most recognizable and prominent part of a millipede is the glossy rounded exoskeleton so that was the most important part to get right, and it turns out that black plums are a surprisingly good visual match. To create the body first cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Cut each plum into .25" slices, discard the awkward end pieces, and arrange on a presentation dish in a sinuous shape. Place on plum piece on its side at one end of the body to create a platform for the head.
The eyes are created from skinned figs with raisins for pupils. I gave the millipede three eyes because with only two it looked more cute and doe-eyed than creepy. Take your figs and use a paring knife to cut off the purple outer skin to expose the pinkish flesh within. Arrange figs on the head platform and place raisins on top to create pupils. Use two almonds to create mandibles and complete the face.
Though it's not anatomically correct, I wanted to make millipede a little more hardcore by giving his tail end spikes. Cut wedges of cheese in spikey shape and wedge under the tail end plums to create the base. Top with slivered almonds to emphasize the feature.
I wanted a firm white cheese for the legs so I chose a brandy aged Manchego, a semi-firm Spanish sheep's milk cheese. To create the legs cut a thin slice off the block and cut into small rectangular slices. Arrange cheese along the sides of the body and adjust the look of the final product to a pleasing composition.