Filled with an amazing assortment of cheeses, seasonal fruits, jams, crackers, meats, and olives, this delicious holiday cheese board will be the highlight of your next dinner celebration. This post is sponsored by Roth Cheese. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
With my favorite holiday, Christmas, right around the corner, I wanted to share a fun post with you. I’m excited to partner with Roth Cheese to show you how to build an epic holiday cheese board with a step by step guide! For me, a cheese board is a holiday essential. Everyone loves snacking on a cheese board while the final touches are still coming together for the holiday dinner. Filled with an amazing assortment of cheeses, seasonal fruits, jams, crackers, meats, and olives, this delicious board will be the highlight of your next dinner celebration.
What cheese to choose
When it comes to building a cheese board, start with a variety of cheese--hard, soft, goat, aged, and blue. Ultimately, you’ll want a range of flavors and textures, from creamy and buttery to crumbly and salty, and a mix of shapes and colors. One of my favorite cheeses is Roth’s signature alpine-style cheese, Grand Cru®. With similar taste to Gruyère, it’s made with the freshest Wisconsin milk from family farms, rBST-free, all quality natural ingredients, and aged for a minimum of 4 months. Full bodied and robust, the Grand Cru® is versatile for cheese boards, snacking, and your holiday recipes. You can find Roth Grand Cru in the deli at your local grocer. Locate it near you at rothcheese.com/locator.
I’ve also included a few other varieties from Roth Cheese. The Buttermilk Blue lends a tangy yet mellow flavor profile. The Harvati brings an extra creamy addition. With a mellow and mild sweetness, the Original Van Gogh® Gouda makes a great aged option. And last but not least, Roth’s newest Chèvre, Cranberry Cinnamon Chèvre, rolled with dried cranberries and cinnamon is perfect for your holiday cheese board.
How to build a cheese board
Position the different cheeses on a large rectangular board toward the edges. The cheeses act as anchors where everything else is arranged around them. A large wooden board is a great investment for serving a beautiful display of cheese. You can use a round board or a square board. The shape does not matter as long as you have enough room to actually cut into a wedge of cheese. If you don’t have a board, use a few large plates and match every cheese with its accompaniment. Make sure you have a knife for each type of cheese that needs to be sliced or cut. No one wants their goat cheese to taste like blue.
Offer fresh baguette and a variety of crackers and breadsticks. Keep things fairly neutral in flavor. You want the cheese to shine first. Place slices of baguette and crackers close to the cheeses, repeating across the board for visual effect. Pick two to three different types of meat. I love the classic and mild prosciutto di Parma and herbaceous salumi like finocchiona.
For the rest of the accompaniments, choose different things to match the cheese, season, and occasion, keeping flavor and texture in mind. Fill larger gaps with jars of jam, a plate of honeycomb, and a bowl of olives. For the sweet, I added orange marmalade and raspberry jam. You can substitute with your favorite jam and chutney. If you like savory jam, sweet vegetable jams like onion, carrot, or beet are terrific options. Local honeycomb goes beautifully with blue cheese. For something salty, I added Castelvetrano olives which lend a crunchy texture and a rich buttery taste.
For the remaining areas, fill larger gaps with nuts, fresh and dried fruits, keeping grapes in clusters, berries whole, and slicing others. Go for fruits that are in their prime at the moment. The Grand Cru® pairs perfectly with fresh figs, apples, and grapes. These fruits add color, acidity, freshness, and texture. Blackberries, raspberries, pomegranate, and dried apricots bring additional flavors and textures. Some fruits oxidize and turn brown overtime. To prevent them from turning brown before everyone gets to enjoy the cheese board, dip cut fruits like apples in a bowl of water with a generous amount of lemon juice. Play around and tweak the board for color, shape, and balance.
Some more cheesy tips
Bring the cheese to room temperature 1 hour before serving for the best taste. During warmer weather, 30 minutes before would be ideal. Don’t pre cut the cheese until closer to serving so they stay moist. When it comes to serving size, aim for 2 ounces of cheese and a fist sized of accompaniment per person. If you’re serving the cheese board in lieu of a meal, double the amount of cheese and accompaniment. Have extra to replenish the board as the amount gets low. Match the intensity of accompanying drinks to the intensity of the cheese. Hard cider and amber beer compliment the flavor of the Grand Cru® while Riesling and other lighter wines pair perfectly with the other cheeses .
The beauty of a cheese board is that it can be achieved by anyone regardless of their cooking skills. My kids make their own mini cheese boards and they love it. I’ve included all the essential tips for how to build an epic cheese board but feel free to play around with flavor, texture, shape, and color. Once you give it a try, you’ll get the hang of it!
- Large cheese board
- 1 wedge of Grand Cru®
- 1 wedge of blue cheese
- 1 wedge of aged Gouda
- 8 ounces block of Harvati
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 8 ounces prosciutto di Parma
- 8 ounces finocchiona
- 6-8 ounces each of seasonal fruits such as apples, figs, grapes, pomegranates, and berries
- 2 ounces olives
- 1 loaf of French baguette or sourdough, sliced
- Crackers and breadsticks
- Spreads such as raspberry jam, orange marmalade
- Assorted nuts like pistachios, walnuts, or almonds
- Arrange the cheese on a large serving board at the edge. Wait until 15 minutes before serving to slice them.
- Place slices of baguette and crackers close to the cheeses, repeating across the board for visual effect.
- Fill the board in with the meats, nuts, fruits, veggies, and spreads as desired.
- Serve the cheese board at room temperature.