How to make an epic cheese platter that will always impress
Over the past year, with the guidance of girlfriends and trusty ol’ Pinterest, I’d say I’ve developed quite the knack for putting together an impressive cheese platter. And really, it is an art form.
Hosting friends for dinner and drinks and want to wow them with your pro-hosting skills? Whip out the cheese platter. Have a family lunch and need to contribute something? Cheese platter! Planning a picnic date? C-h-e-e-s-e. Nearly any situation you put in front of me, I will 9.8 times out of 10, tell you that a cheese platter is the answer.
Here, I’ll give some tips and a step by step of how to make your own spread, so next time you have a soiree, you’ll be the one wow-ing the crowds and soaking up the compliments (wine glass in hand).
Make sure you have a decent, (large enough) cheese board in your arsenal – it’s half the battle
Crowding, crowding crowding!
If you still see your board, then you need to fill that space!
Sweet and savoury are friends, not enemies.
Make sure you use different textures to enhance the cheese grazing experience.
Remember these four words: soft, matured, funky (think mould), hard.
Never overlook the dried fruit.
Always have a dip.
And of course, colour. The more colours the better.
When putting your masterpiece together, it’s not just mindless food-to-board. There is deliberate, ~strategic~ placement taking place. What’s the star of the board? The Cheese (yes, capital letter intended). The cheese is always the first to be placed. Make sure, no matter how many blocks of cheese you have, to space them out evenly.
Next, the dip. Try to put it in something other than the sad container it came in. I like using small glasses, cute tea cups or bright, patterned little bowls just to give it extra personality. Also try and go for a dip that is bright, like beetroot or spinach pesto. If you have any other ingredients that need to be placed into cute bowls or glasses, these go next – such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed peppers or quince paste and jams.
Now it’s time to place the fruit. It’s great to have a combination of fresh and dried fruit, and of different colours. Berries are always a hit, and dried apricots plus any cheese is d-i-v-i-n-e. Place small handfuls next to your cheese blocks and bowls, making sure colours are spread out.
At this point, I’d be surprised if you had any space left! This is when you start filling the gaps – bring out the prosciutto, salami, dark chocolate, nuts and of course.. the crackers! Try to have at least two different types of crackers and play with flavours. Different crackers compliment different cheeses. And… voilà! You’ve put together a masterpiece that’ll never disappoint (yes, it really is that easy).
Remember to have fun with it, play around with different flavours and never take it too seriously. It’ll all get devoured before you can even say truffle pecorino please!