A cheeseboard's a must for any Thanksgiving or winter holiday gathering—the perfect snack (not to mention absolutely beautiful) to keep you and your guests entertained as you're preparing the main courses.
Although crafting the perfect cheeseboard might seem intimidating at first, it's actually quite simple!
The team at Jamie's Farm has come up with a couple of tips and tricks for you to consider so that your cheeseboards are a success this holiday season.
Getting the Goods
Let's break it down. A cheeseboard should have the following elements:
- Something briny, like olives or pickles
- Dried or fresh fruit
- Crackers and/or bread
Mix it up and try a couple of different cheeses with varying flavor profiles, types of milk, and textures—hard, semi-hard, creamy, soft.
You don't have to go overboard with the number of cheeses on the board. You can do anywhere from 3 to 5. The secret is to buy/cut the cheeses into wedges and slices, then arrange them throughout the board. This makes the board look super full.
Try for a couple of meats, such as salami, proscuitto.
I love the way cut pomegranates look on the board, as well as fresh grapes, sliced apples, or pears. Depending on what's in season, you can also do figs, winter citrus, and persimmon. You can also do dried fruits like dates and apricots.
It's always nice having a briny treat on the board to have in between bites of cheese! Some of my favorites are Castelvetrano olives, cornichons, and marinated artichokes.
A couple of ideas here: honeys, fig jam.
These add a nice crunchy, nutty element to the whole board. You can go with candied walnuts, Marcona almonds, roasted pistachios.
Crackers & Bread:
I love getting a bunch of different crackers: either simple cracker thins, or fig-olive crackers for some variety. You can also add rustic pieces of baguette, torn or sliced.
How to arrange your cheese board
There is no perfect way to arrange a cheeseboard—it's all about playing with it, arranging and rearranging! The first step is to start with the cheese and evenly place throughout the board. Consider them your anchors that determine the arrangement of everything else. If you plan on cutting the cheese wedges, do it while the cheese is still cold so it's easier to handle.
From there, you can arrange your meats, fruits, and veggies. Evenly arrange them around whatever is on the board.
Save your crackers and nuts for last!
Always serve cheese at room temperature. The flavor is best when at room temperature.
Assemble the board before guests arrive—by the time everyone gets to snacking, the cheese should be at perfect temperature.
You can keep it simple with the ingredients! Don't feel the need to go out and buy a bunch of different things— you can make a cheeseboard feel very full by spreading all the elements out.