I love making cheese boards for my friends. It always makes a super fun meal, and is a great way for me to use up a bunch of random things in my fridge. But it can be hard right? What to put where, what to buy, how much, etc. Fear not, I am going to help you build a better cheese board. It’s honestly very simple and I bet you already have a majority of the things you need in your fridge. One day we may be able to rejoin society and have parties with friends, but until then, I guess you’ll just have to impress yourself with your newfound skills.
Build a Better Cheese Board:
Step 1: Little Bowls
1. Start with little bowls. Depending on the size of your board, 2-5. Fill them with whatever things will be best corralled into a little container. Dips, spreads and small circular foods like olives and nuts are ideal. In the above board, I had some apricot mostarda (a mix between mustard and jam), a marinated feta, a green cheese ‘pesto’ of sorts, and then my honeyed figs. The olives and cherry tomatoes would have worked in little bowls as well.
Step 2: Break the Cheese
2. Fill in with cheeses. Hard cheeses look best when roughly broken. To achieve this look, stick a small paring knife about 1/4″ into the cheese near an edge and twist, then push down like you would a crow bar. A hunk of cheese should break off. You could also use your hands to break chunks off. Chunks look more fun and effortless and less ‘lunchable-y’ than Costco slices, but no judgements if you’re into that kind of thing.
Step 3: Meat me Halfway
3. Next, is the meats, if you flow that way. Hard salami gets cut about 1/4″ thick. Pre-sliced pepperonis get folded into quarters to give them a little style and to avoid people having to peel them off each other.
Step 4: Crack it Up
4. Crackers/bread. Your foods need a vehicle. I guess if you are gluten-free you can spread it on a toasted sweet potato or something
Step 5: Fill the gaps
5. Lastly, fill in with fruit, like cherries, melon, apple slices, whatever is fresh and good at the moment. Cherry tomatoes are great. Olives and nuts can fill in any last holes.
Ta-da! You now have a cheese board that people would pay like $200 for.
Wood cheeseboard source: Target
Here are all the elements on mine, from the bottom left and counter-clockwise:
1. Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Crackers
2. Trader Joes Mini Baby Bries
3. Cherry tomatoes
4. Castelveltrano Olive Tapenade
5. Sourdough Bread
6. Isigny Sainte-Mere Mimolette, courtesy of my friend Kate who is a rep for them
8. Apricot Mostarda
9. More Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Crackers
10. A sort of green cheese pesto from Gjusta
11. Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar
12. Rainer cherries
13. Dry fennel salami
14. Dried apricots
15. Honeyed figs
16. Castelveltrano olives (these are the best of all olives, the gateway olive if you will)
17. Marinated Feta