CREATING A BEAUTIFUL CHEESE BOARD
I'm all for a cheese board, it's simple, delicious and makes the perfect centerpiece. It is officially summer and that means long, laid back days and time for some easy meal planning. To kick it off, I love creating a cheese board because it's easy, beautiful and a perfect balance of sweet, savory, crunchy and creamy. The best part is you can make create one in about 10 minutes. It's not just for an appetizer either. My family loves it for dinner when you don't want to turn on the oven but you want something satisfying, healthy and well balanced. The truth is I love making a mini one for myself too for lunch or an afternoon snack. There's something for everyone and so much fun to put together. Don't be afraid to get creative with it.
Did you happen to know that June is National Dairy Month? That definitely calls for some celebration. Our cheese board today has something for everyone, meats, nuts, plenty of seasonal produce and my secret weapon, Cabot Cheese Coop Cracker slices. They are perfectly proportioned and ready to go so they do all the heavy lifting for me. C'mon let's get started.
The first thing you will need is the actual board that will hold all your ingredients. It can be any material like marble, slate or wood and any shape really as long as it is flat. I've also used sheet pans, cutting boards and cake stands. Just make sure you have enough room for everything. Another great thing is to have a few little bowls to hold ingredients like olives, jams, or honey. Grab a few skewers and small spoons too.
There are so many cheeses to select from so go with a brand that is committed to sustainable farming and giving back to the community. It's nice to offer a variety of sharpness and flavors so I went with Cabot Creamery Cracker slices.
Vermont Seriously Sharp (my favorite)
(Choose 2-3 from each category)
Bread and Crackers: slices of baguette or sourdough, bread sticks, crackers, crostini, pita chips
Fresh fruits and Veggies: grapes, berries, figs, apple, olives, stone fruits, snap peas, tomatoes
Dried fruits and Nuts: cherries, dates, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts
Spreads: honey, fig butter, jam, chutney
Fresh herbs: thyme, basil, rosemary
Meats: salami, prosciutto, soppressata
The key is to select ingredients that will create some interest. Think about what would go with each type of cheese. Make sure you have a nice variety of textures and that you offer something for everyone. For instance, I know My little one with make a mini sandwich with some sourdough, Colby Jack and apples. My 12 year old will go for the Pepper Jack with a drizzle of honey and I'm all about the Seriously Sharp with some salami, crostini and olives.
So now that you have all your ingredients and equipment together you can assemble the board.
I'll start with the mildest cheese at the top and then the sharpest at the bottom. Because they're already sliced you can stack them up or place them in a fan pattern.
Fill the bowls with some spreads and olives and place them around the board. You can create some interest with them and it will look super fancy.
Slice the meats about the same size as the cheeses. If you are using something thin like prosciutto you can drape the slices and create lovely folds.
Time to grab some crackers and add those to your board. If you are using larger pieces of bread you can serve those on the side to leave room for everything.
Now start filling in the empty spaces with fruits, veggies and nuts. How is it looking so far? Pretty amazing at this point.
The final flourish is a few sprigs of fresh herbs. You can tuck a few pieces around the edge to give it a nice touch.
Make sure you add some small spoons for your spread and toothpicks for small items like olives
How did you do? Pretty fantastic I must say. Pour yourself a refreshing beverage and kick back and enjoy your beautiful cheese board. You deserve it!
CHEESE BOARD RECIPE
Cabot Creamery Cracker Cuts (Colby Jack, Vermont Sharp, Vermont Seriously Sharp, Pepper Jack)
pick 2-3 fruits (grapes, berries, figs, apple, stone fruits)
pick 2-3 veggies (snap peas, tomatoes, carrots)
pick 2-3 meats (about 4 ounces each)
4 oz. olives
4 oz. caper berries or cornichons
3/4 cup mixed nuts
1/2 cup dried fruits
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chutney or jam
bread slices, crackers, and breadsticks
fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil)
Follow the step by step photos and instructions in the post to create the perfect cheese board.