I love getting into the holiday spirit by creating themed charcuterie boards. It’s an easy way to make your gathering feel festive without having to go over the top with party decor.
My husband’s aunt hosts a quarterly girls’ teas, which was the perfect opportunity for me to make an Easter themed board. To make it Easter themed, I added Easter candy (because who doesn’t love candy) as well as colorful veggies that are considered “rabbit food” on my board.
All my boards have a few things in common. I always start with 3 cheeses: a cheddar, a soft cheese (goat cheese or brie are my favorites), and a hard cheese (parm is good). I will occasionally add a specialty cheese to my board. My favorite speciality cheeses are:
- Red Dragon: described as “Red Dragon is a buttery and spicy cheese with plenty of bite, but is not too hot. Not only do the mustard seeds give Red Dragon its marvelous flavor, but also its texture. The brown ale makes the cheese moist and tangy. Red Dragon is aged for three months, made from cow’s milk, and is vegetarian.”
- Sartori Cheese Merlot Bellavitano: described as “By wedding this rich, creamy cheese to the berry and plum notes of Merlot, we’ve created a marriage of flavors destined to make your taste buds say, “I do.””
- Bellavitano Cheese Tennessee Whiskey: described as “Full of spirit and a smooth sweetness, Tennessee Whiskey meets our rich, creamy BellaVitano in this new classic cheese. Breathe in that clear country air and savory the sweet life.”
If I can find a speciality cheese that’s “on theme” with whatever board I am creating, I jump on it! For St Patrick’s day this year, I found this great Irish Cheddar Cheese with Porter Beer. Described as “Cahill’s Porter is made by blending the cheddar curds with dark brown porter beer, resulting in a beautiful outstanding marbled cheese. The flavor of porter beer alone is rather strong, but in combination with the cheddar, the beer flavor is mellowed and the cheese flavor is deepened.”
After I have selected my cheeses & their pairings, I focus on the presentation. I like to roughly chop the cheese to make the board less intimidating to graze from. If I leave the cheese in its block form then people are less likely to dig in. Yes, I want party guests to “eat with their eyes first” but I will never bring a food item thats not supposed to be consumed.
I almost always serve with honey (or guava paste) and something pickled. The radishes & carrots replaced the pickled items on this particular board because I didn’t have room and felt like the flavors were balanced.
My last step to every board is to garnish with fresh herbs. I happened to have rosemary in the fridge but I usually use parsley.
Here are some photos of the tea & a shot of the charcuterie board in the wild:
If you want to hear more about my cheese board process, then listen to me on The Millennial Homemakers’ podcast episode “All Things Easter”.