I recently assembled a dry run of a dead simple fall-themed cheese board for the upcoming holiday season that I desperately want to share with you. It’s one of those party staples that taps into our inner Lunchable desires while still being totally lush. It’s like cheese and crackers gone upscale. The best part is you just have to slice a little, arrange a little (which you know we love!), and serve.
You can see my original example of a cheese board here, but I’ve got some tips to take your cheese board game up to eleven. Let’s make a cheese board…
Cheeses to make a cheese board
Think variety when it comes to cheeses. I’d steer clear of anything too gimmicky (like pumpkin spice cheddar or something) and stick with quality classics. Here are some ideas:
Soft: soft, spreadable cheeses like double or triple creams, Chèvre, ricotta, and cremont pair well on crackers and with fruits.
Crumbly and strong: Stilton, Époisses, Gorgonzola, and similar strong and stinky cheeses are awesome for those who love them (like me!).
Aged and smoked: I used smoked gouda, but look for aged cheddar, too.
Tips: serve the cheese at room temperature if you can, and use separate knives for each flavor.
You can’t go too wrong with meats (unless you’re vegetarian, of course! Then omit). think prosciutto, salami, ham, summer sausage, chorizo, or whatever you love.
I’d allow for about two ounces of cheese and charcuterie per person.
Carbolicious. I like to include some soft breads for making sliders, sliced toasted bread for crostini, and crunchier bread sticks. You could add melba toast, seed-y breads, and lots of crackers. Consider adding a sweeter bread, too, like raisin bread or graham crackers.
Fruits + Nuts
Dried fruits go really well in a cheese plate since they’re so snackable and add a new texture to the mix. Slice fresh fruit also pairs really well with cheese. I used bosc pears, apples, and golden raisins. Grapes are also a given. Also in wine — hint hint. Think seasonal and you’ll save some cash and keep it theme-appropriate.
Go nuts with nuts. Any and all are great. I chose walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios. Flavored nuts would work, too. Oh, and add some dark chocolate, if you’re really looking to impress.
Mini gherkins, olives, artichoke hearts, popcorn, mustards (especially dark, grainy ones!), honey, and dipping sauces are where sandwiches are made. You could even include a savory bacon jam, bruschetta, and any varieties of sweet hams. I recommend apricot jam with cheese. See this grilled cheese recipe for solid proof. Yum.
Feel free to fill in gaps with pretty greenery like rosemary stalks, salad greens, or parsley. It’s a way to totally fancy it up for like zero money.
Tools + Serving ware
You can totally serve a cheese board on regular ol’ plates, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, here are some items I have on my wish list:
I also used a similar serving cart to this one from Target:
Do YOU have any fancy gatherings you’ll be self-catering? Will you be going the cheese board route?