The Ultimate Cheese + Charcuterie Board
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t see one of these and immediately start snacking. Why is that? Because a good cheese board has a little something for everyone. We’ve had cheese boards at family occasions since long before they were cool. My Aunt Kristen, who lives out of town, first started making these probably around 20 years ago. She and my uncle would travel from Atlanta to Charlotte for holidays so they needed something to contribute that they could put together the day of for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Back then they would head to Dean & Deluca to get all of the accoutrements. I head to Trader Joe’s because the prices are so great. I usually grab a few things from Whole Foods too. Their olive bar is fantastic and we are all addicted to their Angry Pickles and Pickled Okra.
(1) 3-5 Different Cheeses
I usually have a gouda, brie, some sort of cheddar, a blue and something new and different. Sometimes (depending on the occasion) I’ll use a cheddar that is a little different… like for Christmas I did a white cheddar with cranberries. A white truffle cheddar is always a hit! Sometimes I even add a spicy pimento cheese in a bowl as one of my cheeses.
Use 2-3 different kids of crackers and/or bread sticks. A traditional water cracker plus and cracker with dried fruit in it and crispy bread sticks are a hit with adults and kids. They can be eaten by themselves or top with cheeses and meats.
Completely a personal preference, but I use a nice dry salami and prosciutto . They are a family favorite- kids too!
You can really use any kind of nuts. I usually go for the Marcona Almonds with Rosemary from Trader Joe’s. Sweet and Spicy Pecans are yummy, as well as raw cashews.
For fresh fruit, I tend to use raspberries, blackberries or grapes. They work well because they don’t brown, have to be cut and can be found year-round. They also look pretty, are sweet and add a fresh component to your board. I will also sometimes add (dried or fresh) figs or dates.
(6) Pickles, Pickled Okra & Olives
Pickled anything is a great accompaniment to anything on a cheese board since cheeses, meat and nuts are so rich and filling.
A local, raw honey, a really good mustard and fig jam are my favorite things to add in cute little bowls. Some savory, some sweet and they pair well with different cheeses. They finally got this one back in at my local Trader Joe’s so you must run, not walk and grab some yourself!
I love putting a colorful sliced watermelon radish, bell peppers or carrots. You could also add a small bowl of hummus or tzatzkiki for your fresh veggies.
(9) Something sweet
Whether you add yogurt covered pretzels, chocolate raisins or your favorite bite size cookie, it is nice to have a sweet treat on your board. These things are all over the stores this time of year. Save your self some time and buy store-bought!
Rosemary or thyme sprigs, a piece of cedar or holly leaves take your board to the next level. Sometimes I add small pumpkins, clementines or a cluster of red radishes for color. Depending on holiday and occasion use what colors work for you and your event- trust me it will make huge difference!
Here are some of my favorite cheese boards that make these yummy creations look beautiful!
PIN this picture to have for your next holiday gathering!