I’m still on a major cheese kick (read all about my favorite Brie recipe HERE), so I figured we’d roll right into tips and tricks for making an awesome cheese board.
Cheese is my love language. My life line. Thank goodness I’m not lactose intolerant. I’d probably be at least 10 pounds lighter if I didn’t eat cheese, but that would be no fun at all! Give me a plate of cheeses, cured meats, and a crusty baguette and send me away to a private island.
I’ve always loved throwing together cheese boards for get togethers, but I’ve always wanted to learn more about the “right” way to pair cheeses and meats and craft the perfect display.
When our local Whole Foods opened a couple years ago, I asked the cheese monger for advice. Did I need a hard cheese, soft cheese, semi soft cheese, etc to make the perfect cheese plate?
Her advice was spot on- she said, “Just pick what you like!”
I mean, isn’t that the truth? If I’m preparing it to eat, why not fill the plate with my favorites? Who cares if they’re all soft or all hard?
I’m sure the uppermost echelon of cheese snobs might disagree with the above advice, but I say go for it.
The first order of business is to pick 3-5 cheese you like and a few cured meats, as well. Triple cream is my favorite soft cheese (St. Andre is divine!). It literally tastes like butter. A soft, sharp goat cheese ranks high up there, as well. As far as the meats go, I love prosciutto and salami, but the possibilities are endless.
Now that you’ve got the cheeses squared away, you’ll need a sturdy board or platter to arrange everything. I found a huge wooden cheese board at Pier 1 a few years ago and I absolutely love it (it’s similar to THIS). It’s heavy as all get out but holds a TON of food! Home Goods also usually has a great selection.
Start by arranging the cheeses on the board- they’re the stars of the show, after all! I like to leave the soft cheeses like St. Andre or brie just how the come, but for harder cheeses like Gouda, cheddar, or Parmesan, I like to go ahead and cut them into thin slices or cubes so people aren’t hacking away at the cheese tray.
Next fill in open spaces with the meats. I roll some slices, lay some flat, you get the point. Have fun with it!
Now is when it gets fun. Fill in any remaining spots with crackers, crunchy bread sticks, nuts, dried and/or fresh fruit, and herbs. Olives, roasted red peppers, and honey are nice touches, also. I like to have a variety of sweet and salty accoutrements because everyone has different tastes.
That’s really all there is to it. It can be as simple or over-the-top as you like. It’s also a great way to use up that rosemary in your garden or half-eaten bag of almonds in the pantry.
And though my cheese displays might not be the fanciest of all time, I’ve never gotten one complaint.
PS there is an affiliate link in this post for the wooden cheeseboard. Gotta feed my cheese addition somehow!