Are you like me and do you actually enjoy cocktails and appetizers over dinner? If so, then you’ll want to keep reading because today, I’m sharing my tips on how to create a chic and festive cheese board just in time for the holidays. The key is to offer a plethora of choices that compliment one another while making a beautiful presentation…just not too beautiful to eat!
- Start with the cheese: This seems pretty obvious, right? I usually like to offer between three and five different cheeses. I typically go with a soft one like goat cheese, a hard cheese like Gouda, and my go-to Spanish trio of Manchego, Iberico and Cabra al Vino. (Fyi: Trader Joe’s sells a tapas sampler with all three of these cheeses.)
- Add fresh and dried fruits: Fruit and cheese go hand in hand so I love to experiment with various pairings. My favorites are dried apricots, pomegranate seeds, grapes,raspberries and fresh figs depending on the season. I especially love spreading goat cheese on a cracker and topping it with pomegranate seeds. It’s sooo good!
- Add cured meats: I love this combo pack from Trader Joe’s which consists of three Spanish meats: Salchichón Salame, Del Duca Jamón Serrano, and Chorizo Cantimpalo. My kids in particular love these meats and make a bee line for them whenever they’re on hand.
- Add nuts and olives: Have you ever tried warm olives with fresh thyme? To die for! But, if you’re not an olive person, nuts are an ideal alternative. I love pistachios, macadamia nuts and almonds drizzled with honey.
- Add a variety of crackers: I find that guests enjoy several options so I offer cheese sticks, traditional crackers and toasts to keep things interesting. I recently discovered these cranberry toasts which are perfect for the season as well as these tasty cheddar sticks which have a little bite to them.
Don’t forget to provide plenty of cheese knives, appetizer plates, and cute cocktail napkins so you guests feel free to dig in! What do you like to include on your cheese board? I’m always open to new suggestions!