My favourite thing during Christmas time…
Without a doubt, I love a good cheeseboard. If anyone comes around for drinks and a chat, you can be sure I will attempt to whip a cheeseboard out for my guests. It’s such a great dish to have out at parties or gatherings during Christmas. For one, it’s a great dish for guests to pick at when feeling peckish. It also allows for causal dining, chit-chat and general merriness.
I can guarantee that Lee and I will be having a cheeseboard on Christmas day. And it will almost identical to this one you see above. If you’d like to recreate this for your festive party or for Christmas day, here are my top tips…
START WITH THE SERVING BOARD
Let’s go back to basics with what you’re serving the cheeseboard on. One of my favourite places to purchase serving ware from is Homesense. This real marble and wooden serving board that I’ve used for my cheeseboard were purchased from Homesense for less than £15. Absolute bargain. With a cheeseboard, you can go two ways in my opinion: slate or marble/ wooden. Personally, I like marble/wooden. It looks nicer, is prettier on display and you don’t get that horrible scraping sound you usually get with slate boards.
One thing that I cannot wait to try is a grazing table. Essentially just covering a kitchen counter or island with things to nibble on. If you have a large gathering, this is maybe the way you want to go. Plus, it looks fantastic in pictures and you’ll be the envy of your friends on Instagram.
CHOOSE YOUR CHEESES.
Now let’s get down to the main event. Depending on your party size, you may want to get a number of different cheeses. For a party of four-six, I think five different kinds of cheese is plenty. For a good mixture, I would go two soft, a hard, a crumbly and a blue. The perfect mixture. We all have our own favourites but when picking your cheese, consider whos coming and ensure they have a cheese that they will enjoy. If you can, I would recommend getting camembert and baking it. Something extra for your fabulous cheeseboard.
TO ADD MEATS OR NOT.
Now, as a new vegetarian, the one thing I miss is deli meats and charcuterie. When it comes to a cheeseboard, you could leave it just cheese. Personally I think a few slices of meat give the board a bit of texture and a new flavour element. So again, depending on your party and preferences, this one could be missed or increased in the number of slices.
Crackers are one of the best bit of the board. I love a mixture of different styles and flavours, no plain crackers here. Pepper flavoured crackers are always a favourite in my household. So are lightly salted ones. Personally, breadsticks are also a great addition. A little bit of crunch, something extra for the board.
FILL IN THE GAPS.
The key to a gorgeous looking cheeseboard is to fill in the gaps. Sure you want to see the board, but a sparse looking serving board is not inviting. I love using grapes, dried apricots and nuts to fill in the gaps. Extra snacks and complimentary flavours for the cheeses.
Olives are a firm favourite too. In a small bowl on the serving board. An added bit of colour as well as flavour. Perfection.
With any dish, the finishing touches will make or break it. And for me, that’s the chutney and jams. I love a spicy chutney, a little heat for the cheeses. For jams, I love either damson or gooseberry. Light refreshing flavours to help make the cheese shine on the night.
Lastly but not least, garnish. Though you’re not going to eat it, rosemary adds not only colour but also fragrance. It’s the perfect way to finish off the cheeseboard.
When are you whipping out the cheeseboard this Christmas?