Putting together an appetizing cheese board is one of my favorite things.
We gather each evening, sip wine, talk about our day, sharing the time with family and friends, often as the sun slowly sets.
A few easy elements will ensure your cheese boards are exciting, tasty and everyone will enjoy.
First, you need cheese! Pick something you like. If you have more than one cheese, choose different varieties; creamy like Camembert or Brie, sharp like cheddar or goat, or blue, aged like Gouda or Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. If you are unsure, ask someone at the cheese counter to help you select. Often you can taste the cheeses too so it is beneficial to talk to the cheese person at your store.
For our evening appetizer platter often I just put out one great piece of cheese. In a pinch, you can use cream cheese, just dress it up with the rest of the elements of a great cheese platter.
Next, after you have the cheese, select some fresh fruit.
Grapes, pears, apples, fresh figs, cherries, berries, you don’t need a lot, but some.
Next add some dried fruit: apricots, dried cranberries, or dates make great choices for this category. If you have enough fresh fruit, you don’t need dried fruit too. You decide.
Choose some nuts: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), Brazil nuts, cashews are some suggestions.
This is my favorite part, selecting some “toppings” to compliment. Choose marmalade, whole fruit jams, pepper jelly, or honey. This is where I like to use the honey that comes in the comb; slice off a bit, place the cut comb on the platter and let the honey drizzle and ooze all over. Scoop it up with a spoon to drizzle it over the cheese.
The flavors you choose here can really set your platters apart.
If you wanted to add olives, pickles or charcuterie meats to a cheese platter you can. That brings it into the entertaining and party realm and is still easy and goes a long way when entertaining.
Finally add some crackers, flat breads, lavash, toast points or bread to a bowl or basket on the side.
Now it’s time to get your wine and enjoy!