Impress your family and friends this holiday season by building the ultimate, Instagram-worthy cheeseboard.
There is nothing I love more than a cheeseboard. I think every holiday party or dinner party or basically any type of gathering should involve cheese. But here’s the thing, it’s not only about the cheese, a cheeseboard is a centrepiece, something to gather around and share. Add some wine and you’ve got yourself a fabulous evening. The other day something popped up in my Facebook feed where someone was asking what does a dinner party look like today, and I think, for my friends and I, a cheeseboard is far more likely to be our “dinner party” than a full sit down meal. It’s pretty great if you’re strapped for time because there is no actual cooking involved, just a bit of slicing and then all you have to do is arrange things nicely on a board or a platter. Voila!
If I could have this much cheese every week, that would be my dream, but cheese is expensive! I think a large cheeseboard like this one, are a special occasion kind of thing, maybe for the holidays or for a celebration. I made this one of Thanksgiving, but I’ve been known to enjoy a mini cheese plate on my own with a nice glass of wine. The best part of a cheeseboard might be the leftovers because then you can indulge in mini cheese plates throughout the next couple of weeks! That’s actually my favourite kind of dinner, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve definitely seen some snaps of these.
I’ve been working on my cheeseboard game for the past year and I think I’ve finally perfect the art of the perfect cheese plate. The first rule of putting together this appetizer is variety. You can see from my picture, that a cheeseboard in my house has plenty of different textures, colours and flavours.
Let’s talk about the star of the show, the cheese. You need to mix it up with different kinds of cheeses, for me, a smoked cheese is always necessary, but make sure to have a variety of soft, semi firm and hard cheeses. You can also switch up the types of milk, cow and goat cheese are always good options. Aim for 3-4 kinds of cheese. For this board, I used brie, (in the centre), aged cheddar, (cubed in the bottom right corner), havarti (sliced at the top of the board), and my favourite Boursin cheese. Once you’ve picked your cheeses it’s time to build out your board with extras, cured meats. Use three-4 kinds of cured meat. For this, I had a spicy salami, a parmesan coated salami and prosciutto. Try to get different shapes and sizes for meats, you can see that the two salamis I used are very different in looks and taste. Add crackers, this is where you can really get that Instagram-worthy look, I had four types of crackers that I would replenish throughout the evening. Finally, add some olives, grapes, figs and nuts!
Here’s a handy dandy list to help:
1. Buy 3-4 kinds of cheese. Opt for a combination of soft, semi firm and hard cheese, and try different types of milk (cow, goat and sheep are all great.)
2. Display cheeses in different ways, cubed, sliced and in wedges.
3. Buy 3-4 kinds of cured meat, salamis and prosciutto are always great options. Having one spicy variety is nice!
4. Dress it up with olives, figs and grapes.
5. Have 3-4 kinds of crackers. Look for variety in different shapes, flavours and styles.
6. Add a spread, I love to serve a smoked salmon spread on the cheeseboard as well.
7. Use small bowls to hold olives and spreads and arrange these on the platter.
8. Start by arranging cheeses on the platter then build around the cheeses.