cheese board fun – how to build a cheese tray

When entertaining I always go blank about what appetizers to serve. I’m not a big fan of baking complicated dishes but I also get tired of the same old chips and salsa. After doing some research Online, I found the idea of a cheese board. I’ve heard of these before, but I had never actually built one. Or been served one for that matter! Cheese boards look intimidating, but after following some simple steps, they are actually very easy to make and a lot of fun. Plus they taste AMAZING and are totally affordable.

Follow these easy steps below to create a cheese board of your own:

You’ll need a board to start. I used my largest wood cutting board, but any board or plastic tray will do the trick.

First add the cheese. You want to buy a variety of cheeses and choose a hard cheese, semi-soft, and soft. Buying cheese can be tricky. There are so many options and flavors.

My local grocery store, HEB, has an amazing cheese department. Once I told the deli employee I was building a cheese board, she was so excited to explain all of the cheeses for me. She picked some from all over the world and explained each flavor. She was so helpful! She even asked me to come back and let her know how it turned out. I’m sure if you ask your local cheese expert, they will be happy to help you pick some fabulous cheeses.

Put the softest cheese in the middle of the tray, and then add the harder ones around it. The cheeses I chose, clockwise from bottom left are: Gouda, Brie (middle), Manchego, Moldy Blue, and Cheddar.

Next add the meats. Keep them separate and try folding thin meats so they are easily placed onto crackers. I chose Salami, Prosciutto, and premade Pepperoni Wrapped Mozzarella.

Now for the fun part! The extras. Be creative here. Choose things such as fruits, dried fruits, olives, crackers, bread or cheese sticks, nuts, honey, and spreads. For things that can easily roll away, such as olives, place them in small ramekins.

Since I ran out of room on my board for crackers, I placed my three options into bowls next to the tray at serving time. I bought water crackers, rice crackers, and a gluten free option Van’s The Perfect Ten.

These additions should be placed in all of the free spots on the board and will fill in the cracks. Don’t be afraid to be messy with the nuts or fruit, that’s what makes the board fun, the variety. Fill free to move everything around until you are happy with how it looks. It’s art!

When you are finished the board should be colorful and full of choices. The board I created will feed about eight to twelve people. To make the board a little more user friendly, I cut up the hard cheeses ahead of time. The board can be prepared and refrigerated, just be sure to pull it out about thirty minutes before your guests arrive. This way the cheese can be at room temperature at serving time.

Ingredients List:

Cheeses:

Gouda, Mild Cheddar, Manchego, Brie, and Moldy Blue

Non cheeses:

Dried Apricots, Olives (Castelvetrano), Blueberry Spread, Chocolate Covered Almonds, Grapes, and Pecans.

Crackers (not pictured):

Rice Crackers, Water Crackers, and Gluten Free Van’s The Perfect Ten

Meats:

Salami, Prosciutto, and Premade Pepperoni Wrapped Mozzarella

So who is ready to try a cheese board? Next time I have guests over I will definitely be making another one. They pair so well with wine too, especially Reds. 😉

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