A cheese board is a serving platter that showcases an assortment of yummy cheese. It is generally served when entertaining guests. These spectacular appetizers can exclusively feature hard and soft varieties, or the cheeses may be the focal point surrounded by other special ingredients in charcuterie fashion. Examples of foods that complement cheese include varieties of olives, crackers, specialty meats, spreads, and garnishes. Here is how to make an impressive cheese board in five easy steps:
- Prep your cheese if necessary. Hard cheese may be cut/sliced into bite size pieces. Soft cheese may be put into mini serving bowls. Or, in the case of Brie, it may be left whole in the round.
- Display your featured cheese (three to five varieties) on a pretty serving platter or wooden cheese serving board. Add mini cheese knives or serving toothpicks to the platter where needed. If adding meat to your cheese platter, choose two to three cheeses alongside two meats.
- If you wish, top your cheese with a spread (examples: flavored jellies, honey, truffle honey, fig jam and more) or place the spread in a small container and place it on the board along with a small serving spoon.
- Fill the gaps between your cheeses with an assortment of some of the following: crackers, nuts such as candied walnuts, dried fruit such as apricots, grapes, olives, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, pickles, salami, summer sausage, or whatever you love best. Moist products, such as marinated artichokes or pickled green beans, are best served in mini glass or ceramic serving bowls so they do not run. Add small serving utensils.
- Garnish your platter with fresh rosemary, parsley, thyme, or basil leaves, or an assortment of your favorite herbs. This is the ultimate step to filling in gaps. Your platter should be full and vary in height, colors, and flavors to add interest to the platter.
Extra Tips: Pay attention to room temperature and be sure to protect cheeses from heat. Be ready to refill the platter with additional cheese and charcuterie products. Foods that are overpowering, such as roasted garlic, should not touch other foods to prevent a transfer of flavors. Additionally, you may wish to serve crusty bread alongside your board.
When creating a cheese board, your imagination has no limits. You are basically creating little piles of goodness to share, and a variety of fun bites is key. Cheese boards can be served as pre-dinner appetizers along with sweet tea or cocktails. Or it may be part of a buffet or brought out as part of a simple dessert alongside fresh fruit. Thus, not only are they fun, but they are extremely versatile.
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