Set it and forget it
Today, we thought we would share one of our favorite appetizer ideas — a cheese board! We love a cheese board because it’s the kind of thing you can just set and forget. Whether served as a savory appetizer to start or finish the meal, or as the star of a casual gathering, cheese is always a delicious offering. If you have a house full of family and friends and you’re running around trying to get the meal ready, you’ll love a cheese board too! Let us help you put together our go to selection for a flawless looking cheese board.
Select a large cutting board
Select your favorite cutting board or serving board. We love using our Europe 2 You serving boards and hardwood cutting boards that are made of reclaimed wood. They are ideal for showcasing bread, cheese or fruit at casual gatherings and make a beautiful addition to any home. You can do a rectangle, square or round cutting board. We like to use a round cutting board because we think it makes a really pretty presentation, but any cutting board will do.
Add a trio of grapes
The first thing you need to do is create a little center piece for your cheese board. A cheese board is much like a table, you want to create visual interest by drawing your eye to the center. And for us, especially this time of the year when grapes are in season, we like to do a selection of grapes. We will usually take some green grapes, mix it with some red grapes and then add some purple grapes. Again, just adding some nice visual interest to the center of the cheese board.
How to present your cheese
The first cheese we like to use is something runny like a nice French brie. The second cheese we like to use is a salty cheese, and for us, that’s a really nice blue cheese. We also like to include a mild flavored cheese, such as, a goat cheese log. Lastly, we like to include a sweet cheese like a stilton and this time of year you can find them with dried fruits. We love to use it with apricot or cranberry — either one is great! After your first bite, you will immediately recognize that the combination is a natural fit.
When placing your cheese, place the triangles out with the wedge on its side as it’s easier for guests to serve themselves. Always let cheese come to room temperature before eating it. This may take up to a couple of hours. Whenever possible, buy cheeses on the day of serving and keep the wedges at cool room temperature on a board or under a glass dome.
Nestle assorted crackers
Pair your cheese with some crackers. We like to provide a variety of flavors and textures with crackers. We love a brie cheese because it pairs really well with sweet and salty things — sliced olive bread brings out the salty with brie, it’s such a great combination. Nestle the bread right next to the cheese. When it comes to goat cheese, we like using rosemary crackers. We love the little rosemary flatbreads that you can find at the store. You can just break them up and nestle them in with the cheese. For the blue cheese, we love to pair it with something sweet. We think there’s a great combination with the saltiness of the blue cheese and the sweetness of a raisin cracker. Finally, when it comes to the stilton, we like to pair that with something sweet and flavorful like a little brioche toast. Regardless of what you choose to use, always have plenty of fresh baguette or rustic crackers alongside.
Add some sweet & salty bites
Another thing we think is really great on a cheese board is some texture. We want to have a combination of things that are chewy and that are crunchy. So for the chewy side, we like to add some dried cranberries and apricots; or salty bites, such as olives. And on the crunchy side, we like to add some candied pecans and candied walnuts. Two great nuts that are terrific with cheese.
Offer a selection of spreads
Now you could stop here and you would have a very lovely cheese board, but if you wanted to kick it up a notch, you could also offer a selection of spreads. Some of our go to favorites are some olive tapenade for something salty, some honey for something sweet and some pepper jelly for a little bit of kick! If you have never had pepper jelly before, it’s really delicious especially paired with cheese. It’s basically jam that’s made from a selection of red peppers, green peppers and spicy peppers, and it’s really nice on a cracker with some cheese. And lastly, a little bit of fig jam. We love fig jam because it can go sweet, it can go savory and it’s the perfect kind of thing that can be served with cheese.
A few favorite combos
Now that you have all these delicious ingredients out there just waiting to be combined, here are some of our favorite combinations. For a Mediterranean twist, you can take a rosemary cracker, top it with a little bit of goat cheese and add a dollop of tapenade. Then for something that is really salty and really sweet, you might want to try a raisin cracker with a little bit of blue cheese, a drizzle of honey and a candied walnut. Lastly, some Brioche toast, a little spread of brie, a dollop of fig jam and a candied pecan — this is a winner our book!
Try them all and let us know what combinations you like best. Again, we love a cheese board because it becomes so interactive with your guests. Everyone wants to try their own flavor combinations and it keeps them busy while you’re trying to get the meal ready. We hope you give this a try and let us know what you think.