How To Build A Holiday Cheese Board
This post is sponsored by Sprouts.
6 Easy Steps on "How To Build A Holiday Cheese Board for your next get together!
Building a holiday cheese board may look daunting but these 6 steps will make you an expert in no time. It is perhaps one of my favorite things to make for parties (and date night) because cheese board makes an eye-catching centerpiece, it's a great conversation starter, and works an easy appetizer that you can put together with minimal effort and there is absolutely no cooking involved. Talking about parties, have you read my post on "Tips For Hosting A Stress-Free Holiday"? I am calling this a "Holiday Cheese Board" because of the styling and seasonal ingredients I have picked but you can put together a gorgeous cheeseboard using same steps for any of your future gatherings.
Step 1: Choose a board that speaks to you! It can be a large wooden chopping board (which I have used), a specialty cheese board, or even a platter that you have. Just make sure the surface is flat and smooth. I suggest setting up the cheeseboard right where you will assemble + serve for your party, especially if the board is heavy.
Step 2: Pick 3-4 different types of cheese. Think about different textures (soft, semi firm and hard/aged cheeses), types of milk (cow, sheep, goat, or dairy-free (soy or almond cheese) for your vegan guests), and mix up different shapes, sizes, and colors for visual interest. Roughly, allow for about 3 ounces of cheese per person. Cheese used in this board : Gouda, Brie, Sharp Cheddar, and Plain Goat all of which is found in the dairy case at Sprouts. If you already haven't, I highly recommend you to spend sometime at Sprouts browsing the cheese section because they always best deals and great selection of cheeses!
Step 3: Crackers & Breads. Pile up different crackers like sliced crostini, crisps, traditional flatbread crackers, or even cheese sticks in different corners or wherever there are large openings. Sprouts brand flat crackers (whole grains) are my favorite to use but if you have time, try these freshly baked homemade crackers :
Easy Homemade Crackers (vegan and semolina flour based)
Vegan Oat Crackers (3 Variations)
If you have gluten-free guests, make sure to grab gluten-free crackers, which you can find at Sprouts too.
Step 4: Add a sweet and savory component to the board. Some good choices include chutney, jam, mustard, honey, and a seasonal favorite : fig spread, Also, pitted olives and gherkins are great for a salty kick.
Step 5: Nuts & Dried Fruits. I love nuts and dried fruits because they bring in sweet and salty flavors, add a contrasting texture, and are perfect for filling empty spaces on the cheeseboard. You can randomly fill spaces with nuts and dried fruits such as smoked almonds, dried apricots, pine nuts, pistachios etc. You can also add fresh seasonal fruits like figs, grapes, sliced apples or nectarines like I did here but just be careful that sliced fruits gets oxidized and no one wants that. If you are using sliced fruits, I suggest adding them to the board right before your guests arrive and make sure to dip fruit slices in orange juice. I highly suggest you to check out the bulk bin section at Sprouts for all your dried fruits and nuts needs because you can decide on the quantity of nuts and dried fruits and won't be stuck with $10 bag of nuts you won't ever use.
Step 6: Garnish. This may seem unnecessary but garnishes such as cranberries & fresh rosemary sprigs adds that WOW factor and little pop of color. Depending on the season + occasion, you can play around with different garnishes such as fresh basil, pomegranate seeds, micro greens, and sage.
....and lastly don't forget cheese knives for slicing up cheese & spoons for the condiments. In case you are not familiar with different cheese knives, here is a quick guide:
Wide knife (looks like putty knife) is for cutting hard cheese such as Parmesan, Emmentaler, aged cheddars, Asiago, and manchego.
Thin knife is for cutting semi-hard cheese such as Comte, Edam, cheddar, provolone, Swiss, Gouda and Roquefort.
Pointed knife is for cutting a semi-hard or semi-soft cheese, and for spreading soft cheese on crackers and bread. You should place pointed knife near chevre, havarti, Muenster, Stilton, Brie, Camembert, feta and Gorgonzola.T
Fork looking knife is for picking up cheese that has already been cut. It can also be used to break up crumbly cheeses like Stilton or feta to put on salads.
If you don't have cheese knife, don't fret. It's okay to use your regular knife but just have one dedicated knife per cheese so the flavors don't get mixed up.
Pro Tip: Allow cheese to come to room temperature 30 minutes before serving as it will allow for the cheese to come to maximum flavor, which is a bonus! I cannot wait for you guys to make a holiday cheeseboard and if you do, please share your creation and tag @foodpleasurehealth
How To Build A Holiday Cheese Board
Author: Dixya @Food, Pleasure, and Health
3-4 different types of cheese such as gouda, brie, goat, bleu, cheddar etc.
sweet and savory component such as chutney, jam, mustard, honey, pitted olives, gherkins
nuts & dried fruits like smoked almonds, pinenuts, pistachios, dried apricots
may use fresh seasonal fruits like figs, grapes, sliced apples
rosemary, cranberries for garnish
Pick a cheese board such as slate board, chopping board, or a platter with a flat surface
Grab a mix of cheeses with different texture, strengths, colors, and shapes.
Arrange crackers and breadsticks in large openings.
Add condiments such as olives, jam, chutney around the cheese
Fill spaces with dried fruits, nuts, grapes
Garnish with rosemary and cranberries
Set the cheeseboard 30-45 minutes at room temperature before serving
And to my friends who are not hosting or want to have a solo holiday party or a date night-in, you can absolutely scale down the cheeseboard to meet your needs. You can use a smaller board and pick your favorite cheeses and add-ons.
Here are some more cheeseboard inspirations from the past:
I hope these 6 Easy Steps on "How To Build A Holiday Cheese Board" will give you inspiration and the confidence to build an awesome holiday cheeseboard for your next get together!Don't forget to share your creation and tag @foodpleasurehealth or pin the holiday cheeseboard for later.