Guess what I did on New Years Eve. That’s right, I made a cheese board.
I personally believe that a cheese board is the perfect appetizer for entertaining and get-togethers. Think of it as a showstopper party trick. It’s so simple, but so sophisticated, and people go nuts over it. Once, to celebrate the end of an internship, I decided to make a cheeseboard for my colleagues. I was going to make a cake, but half of them were vegan and I wanted to please everyone. That’s when I learned that cheeseboards are great crowd-pleasers because there’s literally something for everyone. My little cheeseboard was an absolute hit!
Also, call me crazy, but building a cheese board is half the fun. It’s a form of expression, if you ask me. The possibilities are endless; they can be can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. You can add meat or keep it vegetarian, you can pull something together in 5 minutes or, if you’re like me, spend half an hour assembling it. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being creative and enjoying the process.
How To Build A Cheese Board:
- The Cheese + Statement Pieces
Start by placing statement pieces around the cheese board before you run out of room. Add some little bowls (for dips and small items, like olives and almonds), a jar of jam or honey.
Next: the cheese. If you can, having a robust mix of soft and hard cheeses is ideal. Think brie, camembert, gruyere, cheddar; aged: gouda or manchego; and blue and goat cheese.
Try serving them in different shapes to keep things visually interesting. Cut them into slices or cubes, stack or scatter them across the board. This also makes it easier for guests to easily grab a piece.
2. The Vehicles: crackers, baguette, bread sticks
You don’t need to make things super neat; pile up the crackers, slice the bread or tear it into pieces. Put them along the edges or next to the cheese.
3. Something Sweet: fresh fruits, dried fruits, jams, honey
That pungent cheese paired with some honey or jam balance one another out beautifully, making the perfect little bite. I like adding grapes, but you can use any fruit you have on hand. Fresh berries, apples, and figs are great options. Break them into smaller pieces and scatter it across the board in a way that makes it look balanced and easy for guests to grab from either side.
4. Something Salty: pistachio, olives, salted nuts
Place them anywhere you’d like or fill in any remaining gaps.
5. The Meats: salami, prosciutto, calabrese
I like folding them into fun shapes or you can just scatter them in a few places across the board.
6. Make it Pretty: garnish
Add fresh herbs (like rosemary), or greens, or edible flowers. Maybe pomegranate. Fill any last remaining spaces and you’re done!
Don’t break the bank
Although it’s fun and visually impressive to have multiple different cheeses on a plate, it’s absolutely not necessary. If you’re on a budget, just go with one or two cheeses. Cut them into pieces and add them in different places on the board so that it still looks full.
There are plenty of cheeses that are delicious and won’t break the bank. So head to the budget-friendly selection and get affordable ones!
You can find cheap baguette at your grocery store. Grab one of those and slice it into thin pieces to stretch it out. Get the cheap crackers.
Nuts can get pricey, so either get peanuts or just skip them altogether. Fill those extra spaces with greens or in-season fruit. Buying fruits and veggies in season is cheaper.
Meat can be one of the most expensive parts of a cheese board. Hit the deli counter and get some simple deli salami and sliced ham or turkey. Or just skip the meat entirely and add extra fruit or crackers to round out the plate.
If you follow my tips on How to Build a Cheese Board and build your own amazing cheeseboard please be sure to leave a comment and tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!