Cheese boards are my JAM for holiday entertaining. They are delicious. They are impressive. And they are crazy easy to put together. I’m a big fan of dishes that have a high oooh-and-ahhh to elbow grease ratio. And cheese boards are the epitome of a great return on investment. They take just a few minutes to put together, and man, do they ever look sharp. So much so, that when you bring one out, more often than not, one of your guests will say, “Oh, you didn’t have to go to that much hassle for me!” To which you will then laugh and tell them it took you like three seconds to put together. Or you’ll let them continue to feel guilty. Depending on how much you like your houseguest.
Now, there are a lot of cheese board tutorials out there. So let me tell you why mine is different—it isn’t ridiculous. Some of the cheese boards you see that are making the rounds on Instagram have hundreds of dollars worth of ingredients put into them, tons of food styling time, and so many moving parts, it seems almost impossible to wrap your brain around. That isn’t my cheese board. I’m so not that kind of girl.
My basic principle when making a cheese board is to put piles of stuff I like on a board. Done. It really is that simple.
If you want a little more rigidity, try to make sure you have items in each of a few categories—cheese (duh), salty, sweet, cracker-y, and condiment/sauce-y. I’ll talk a little bit more about each of those categories in a sec, but when you’re gathering ingredients at the store, it’s good to think of filling up those flavor “buckets”.
Or don’t. Seriously, don’t overthink it if you don’t want to. I promise you can’t mess this up.
In fact, the messier, less organized, more rustic a cheese board is, the more beautiful I think it is. I don’t pre-slice my cheese, mostly because I’m lazy (I use these really affordable cheese knives instead). I don’t make perfectly organized rows—I’m a big fan of the pile method. Seriously, friends. Just put stuff you like on a board and serve it.