Cheese boards are one of my favorite things to break out when I’m entertaining. Especially if your guests are arriving around dinner time and you still have some finishing touches to put on the meal. Plus, they are super easy to put together and chances are that you already have most of this stuff in your kitchen!
The tricky thing is trying to figure out just how much ‘stuff’ you need for your board. This depends on how many people, how long they will be snacking, and if you have plates for them to load up or if they are just picking off the board itself. For the cheese board I created for this post, it would easily serve 4 people for an hour or so. But it could also easily serve my sister and I, on a girls night, when we are splitting a bottle of wine and not planning on eating a real meal.
As a general rule, I like to stick to the rule of threes; three cheeses, three meats, three cracker-type things, and three extras. You don’t have to to this by any means, but I think it helps to provide a good mix of options while not crowding the board. For the cheeses, stick to crowd favorites and maybe have one wild card that people might have never had before. For this board, I used sharp cheddar, fresh mozzarella marinated in pesto, and pecorino. If you do choose a soft cheese, like goat cheese, you might want to add a preserve or jam to your board to complement it. Semi-soft cheese do well when they are marinated, and hard cheeses I normally leave alone. If you’re trying to locate good cheese in the GR area, try Martha’s Vineyard, they have a great selection of artisanal cheese (and meats! and wines!) and you can get just the amount that you need. As far as for selecting the meats, I like to do one spicy (like a sharp pepperoni or spicy salami), one classic (I’m a sucker for prosciutto and I don’t think I’ve ever made a cheese board without it!), and one crowd favorite (for me this is usually a mild salami). The crackers are where you can stay pretty basic or get really creative! I found these breadsticks just at Meijer, and I think they add a nice height to the board that you normally don’t see. I also used pita crackers, and regular ritz crackers.
The extras are the fun part! I love using dried fruits and nuts, but I also put fresh champagne grapes on here. I normally don’t see these at the market, but I’m glad I picked them up! They taste sweeter than regular grapes, and they are so tiny and adorable! You can add all sorts of extras to you cheese board, like fresh berries, preserves, figs, olives, fresh fruit, dips, spread, and so much more! If you’re looking for a great cheese board and more inspiration, head over here to check out an amazing one!
All that’s left now is to enjoy! Also, if you’re looking for an easy way to stock up on wine before your get-together, check out Bright Cellars! They’re doing a great deal right now where if you follow this link, you’ll get a $50 credit on your first order!