Assembling an impressive holiday cheese board is easy as pie and will knock your guests’ socks off. Easy entertaining? Sorted!
It’s December you guys! Yowza! We’re a hop, skip and a jump away from Christmas and 2017! Can you even believe it? I’ve heard from so many people that they are ready to wave 2016 goodbye and I have to say, I am equally excited about 2017. But before we can even talk about that, we need to discuss the holidays and what we’re all planning to serve at parties and festive gatherings. Luckily for you, I am planning a delightful (I hope!) 12 days of Christmas here on Simply Delicious. Everyday for 12 days you will be getting Christmas/Holiday inspiration to make your festive season simple and delicious.
We’re kicking things off with probably my favourite thing in the world. Cheese. Glorious, wonderful, fantastic cheese. I love a good cheese board/plate/platter and the holidays simply don’t feel like the holidays unless I work in at least one good and proper cheese board. What I love so much about a cheese board is that it is completely adaptable to different seasons and occasions. For my festive cheese boards, I always like to include something really Christmassy and this year I decided to add a few mince pies. Mind you, I didn’t make them myself, but I do think they bring an appropriate amount of cheer to our cheese party.
The secret to a really good cheeseboard is variety. You want to give your guests loads of choices and so I always recommend at adding four or five different cheeses. The rule is to go for something aged (a hard cheese like cheddar/Parmesan), something soft and a blue cheese. Because I love all kinds of cheese, I include a few varieties.
To make things super easy for you, I’ve included a list of all the goodies I love to include on my cheese boards. Mix and match as you please but I would definitely do at least one (more of the cheese, obvs) in each category.
Components of a perfect cheese board:
- Cheese: Parmesan, Pecorino, Cheddar, Asiago, Gruyere, Comte, Camembert, Brie, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort, Danish blue, Chevin (soft goat’s cheese), Mozzarella, Manchego (there are so many more but these are the ones I love most). Remember to take your cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Crackers/Bread: Anything goes here but I usually like to do a few crostini, breadsticks, crackers and sliced fresh baguette.
- Jams/Preserves/Pickles: Cheese is good friends with anything preserved/pickled. I always include some onion marmalade because I think it works with most types of cheese. Cornichons, pickled onions, pickled radishes, capers and olives are all perfect additions.
- Fruit/Nuts: Fresh fruit is a must on a cheese board in my opinion. Allow the season you are in to dictate what you use. Fresh berries and grapes are great in Summer while figs, sliced apples and plums will be perfect in Winter. Nuts add great texture and more variety and dried fruit is also a good idea.
- Extra’s: I love adding something a little whimsical and fun to my cheeseboard. Here I’ve added mince pies to add Christmas cheer but you could add chocolate Easter eggs for an Easter cheeseboard. I would add charcuterie to this category as I don’t always think it’s necessary. Prosciutto, Parma ham, salami and shaved turkey are all good options.