Whether you call it a cheese board or a charcuterie tray, it can be agreed that a flavor-packed spread of cheese, meat and other fixings is the perfect prelude to a holiday feast. Or simply a feast in itself! More than 9 out of 10 of you told me on Instagram recently that you’re likely to enjoy a cheese board as the main meal. Count me in that mix!
My kind of cheese board looks a little like this. It varies depending on what I have on hand, but I try to include a variety of hard and soft cheeses, a couple of cured meats, and a combination of complementary flavors, textures and colors. We eat with our eyes, after all.
A butcher block or large cutting board is my go-to serving tray. Once the cheese and meats are placed, I add seasonal fresh fruits, a variety of dried fruit, mixed nuts, olives or pickled vegetables and sweet or savory jam. Add a combination of crackers, pita or baguette slices to pile high with fixings.
A must for a crowd-pleasing cheese board is an aged cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. (Hint: Look for the pin-dots on the rind to make sure you are getting the real deal made in and around the province of Parma in Italy. It’s the best!) Fun Fact: When I studied abroad in Italy, I got a first-hand look at how Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made. You can read all about it here and get my family’s recipe for Carbonara).
For the holidays, you can add seasonal and festive accents like fresh rosemary twigs, a bowl of sugared cranberries or slices of sugared citrus (which add a nice touch to holiday cocktails as well!).
What are you favorite fixings for a holiday-worthy cheese tray??
*I was gifted Parmigiano Reggiano for this post.