One of the highlights of a good dinner party or social event is obviously the cheese board. There are certain things I believe should NEVER be left off a cheese board.
Here are my suggestions of what to include:
- A soft cheese (like brie)
- A vintage crumbly cheese (cheddar does the job)
- A strong, bitey blue
- An exotic or hard-to-find cheese to really impress
- Some cold cuts of different kinds of meat like ham, turkey, prosciutto
- Some nuts to add texture (candied walnuts are so good – see note below)
- Some fruit for freshness to relieve the salty meat and cheese (grapes, cherry tomatoes, apricots)
- A good quality quince paste
- Your favourite homemade or store bought dips (my favourite is Redrock Deli)
The best thing about cheese boards is that they are so versatile when it comes to entertaining. You can add as much or as little and customise to suit everyone’s needs. For example, if one of your friends have a nut allergy, just leave it off. If some people don’t like blue cheese, don’t put it on!
One of the best dinner parties I went to was a surprise cheese night where everyone had to bring an interesting cheese you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to find on the shelves. By the end of the night, there were so many cheeses from all around the world I got to try that I ordinarily wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.
Going a little deeper goes a long way!
*To candy walnuts for a cheese board, just reduce 1 heaping teaspoon of brown sugar with 1 teaspoon of water over low-medium heat until the sugar melts and then toss your candied walnuts through the caramel. These are also an unbelievable addition to many salads.