For pure wow factor on the cheese plate, I don't think you can miss with Flower Glazed Cheeses. This method is a lovely way to dress up grocery store cheeses (I wouldn't recommend it for artisan cheeses.)
As long as you use untreated, organic, edible flowers and leaves (preferably home grown), it is all completely edible.
I learned how to do this many, many, (many!) years ago from a Sunset Magazine Appetizer Cookbook. You can use any cheese with a flat surface and an edible rind (or no rind at all.)
They are so much fun to do that I'm often disappointed I don't have MORE cheeses to decorate once I get started! The designs are, of course, limited only by your imagination.
Here are some suggestions for edible decorations~
Just remember to choose pesticide-free, well washed leaves or sprigs of herbs, and petals or small blossoms of flowers.
chives, dill, save, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, watercress, cilantro, and parsley.
A few Flower suggestions:
pansies, roses, primroses, geraniums, carnations, calendula, nasturtiums, violets, and strawberry blossoms.
To prepare for use:
After rinsing and blotting dry, store the leaves and flowers in plastic bags in the refrigerator until ready to garnish the cheese.
Flower Glazed Cheese
Adapted from Sunset Magazine's "Appetizer" cookbook, 1984
Everything you need to decorate and glaze several cheeses.
2 cups dry white wine (or regular-strength chicken broth)
Note: Wine will give a clearer, more sparkling aspic glaze than chicken broth.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (Knox, for example)
Flat-surfaced cheese (any rind must be edible), chilled
Edible decorations; see list above
In a 2 to 3-quart pan, combine wine and gelatin; allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place over medium heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is clear.
Place pan in a larger container filled with ice cubes and water, stir liquid occasionally until it begins to thicken and look syrupy. If it becomes too firm, rheat to soften, then chill again until syrupy.
Place cold cheese on a wire rack in a shallow rimmed pan. Decide upon your pattern/decorations.
Spoon a coat of aspic over top and sides ofcheese; when slightly tacky (1 to 3 minutes), decorate as desired with the flowers, leaves and/or herbs. Refrigerate entire pan with rack and cheese, uncovered for about 15 minutes.
Spoon more aspic over top and sides of cheese to cover all. If desired add one or 2 more coats, refrigerating after each layer is added.
When cheese is completely covered with glaze, invert a bowl over cheese without touching surface until ready to serve. Can be prepared up to 36 hours ahead.
Any unused aspic (including the drippings in the pan) can be refrigerated, covered, for several days. To reuse; reheat to melt, then proceed as in the instructions, above.
Recipe yields enough to coat six 3 by 5-inch rectangles of cheese with 3 layers of aspic.
For the Brie I chose purple violas.
Nasturtium blossom, leaves and a blade of chive
on the block of Oregon Cheddar