In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board

It's the perfect appetizer for holiday entertaining

With the holidays in full swing, for many of us, that means entertaining friends and families as well! Anne Milneck, Owner of Red Stick Spice Co., in Baton Rouge, Louisiana says that a cheese board is a perfect thing to throw together for guests while you put the final touches on your holiday feast.

She offers us some quick tips and lessons to make a great cheese board to wow at your next party.

Assembling the Perfect Cheese Board

You’ll want a variety of cheeses and complimentary fruits, vegetables, nuts, and/or crackers to go along with it.

Milneck recommends at least three varieties of cheese. One could be a ‘hard’ cheese, another should be a ‘soft’ cheese, and you’ll also want a ‘funky’ cheese.

  • Hard Cheese Recommendations: sharp cheddar, parmesan, or manchego
  • Soft Cheese Recommendations: triple cream, goat cheese, or camembert
  • Funky Cheese Recommendations: blue cheese or gorgonzola

In the above video, Milneck offers some tips to help you easily assemble an impressive spread.

  • Step 1: Start by making a focal point. Milneck suggests using grapes as the focal point. Cut them into little, easy to work with bunches.
  • Step 2: Work with your harder cheeses next. Cheddar cheese is always a crowd pleaser and Milneck recommends putting apples on the tray next to the cheddar cheese because they pair well together.
  • Step 3: Place picks in a convenient place on the board so your guests can easily pick up the foods they want.
  • Step 4: Work with your softer cheeses next. Milneck places a small dish on the tray and fills the bottom with flavored balsamic vinegar. She placed one wedge of goat cheese in the dish, sprinkled some slivered almonds on top, and sandwiched the almonds with another wedge of goat cheese. She topped it with some dried fruit.
  • Step 5: Now place your ‘funky component’ on the board. Milneck used blue cheese for this board and she suggests putting something sweet on the try beside it. For this board, she used honey.
  • Step 6: Place your next soft cheese on the board. Milneck used manchego which she says is a nutty cheese that pairs well with berries.
  • Step 7: If you have another soft cheese, find another spot on the outside of the board to place it. Milneck opted for triple cream cheese and she paired it with pickled beets.
  • Step 8: Finish your board with another hard (preferably salty) cheese. In this example, Milneck used crumbled pieces of parmesan that she sprinkled in any empty places still on the board.

It’s important to remember that not everyone is a cheese connoisseur. By telling a story with your board, your cheese board not only looks beautiful, but your guests will be able to enjoy your offerings because you’ve helped guide their choices.

* Pro Tip- Milneck says a pizza peel is a great thing to build your cheeseboard on because of its size and convenient handle!