If you know me at all, you know that it's not a party, a gathering, a girls night or a Sunday without a cheese board. There's just something wonderfully casual yet special about cheese and various accoutrement, shared on a large wooden board. It sparks conversation. It brings people together, eating from the same spread. It's beautiful with various flavors, colors and textures. And most importantly, It tastes freakin' delicious.
Though my cheese boards usually vary based on what I have on hand, I try to create them with a few things in mind:
1. a variety of cheese. I like hard, soft, sharp and creamy varietals. On the above, there's a soft goat cheese, a sharp Dubliner, a sharp cheddar, and a soft, creamy brie.
2. something really salty. I'm obsessed with stuffed green olives, kalamata olives, or really any sharp, briney olives that I can get my hands on. I also love turkey pepperoni or sliced salami, which makes a great addition.
3. something sweet. Any good cheese board of mine includes a healthy dose of fig jam. It's probably the priciest item on the board ($8.99/jar), but a little goes such a very long way. I love a cracker topped with creamy brie and a dollop of jam. yum. Dried fruit or a big bunch of juicy grapes would also be fabulous.
4. a good cracker. My favorite is nothing fancy. I love keebler's club multigrain crackers, they are inexpensive and so, so delicious. One box goes a really long way.
5. keep it simple. Use whatever you have on hand and don't spend a fortune. You can build an impressive cheese board while keeping costs low. I like to buy cheese at BJ's because they sell huge quantities at reasonable prices. I purchase large jars of olives instead of hitting up the olive bar. Often times, these will last for more than one board.
What are your favorite cheese board musts?