It’s almost the end of the summer, so your picnicking days are limited- no room for sub-par cheese boards this summer! That being said, we put together a cheeseboard filled with our absolute top-picks: from Le Meunier butter to BRINS Chili Pepper jam. Follow our step-by-step guide below for the cheeseboard of your dreams.
Start out by making sure your mise en place is all set. This means you have all the ingredients for your board cut, organized, and ready to be plated.
We always like to start by placing the cheeses on the board. This helps us visualize the rest of the board by breaking it down into sections and provides us with a guideline for placing the rest of the ingredients.
The cheeses on this board are as below:
When slicing cheeses, make sure to include some different textures and sizes. For a semi-hard cheese like the Comte, cut it into cubes: easy for snacking and placing onto the board.
Our Comte Reserve from Rivoire Jacquemin is made from raw Cow's milk, only from the summer, aged for 24-30 months. The longer aging process along with the use of the summer milk makes this Comte pleasantly fruity, buttery, and light salty. The Comte is a nutty, buttery cheese.
The 1605 Manchego is usually best-presented in a thin, wedged slice. This allows you to keep a part of the beautiful rind for presentation. Thinly slicing manchego is important-- Manchego is quite salty and strongly flavored, so a thicker, heavier slice would likely overwhelm the flavors on the rest of the board.
The 1605’s intense salinity and grassy tones helps off-set the buttery, creamy flavors from the Comte. Plus, we always like to include cheeses made from different milks on one board for more variety!
-Dorothy’s Creamery Flower Cheese
The theory of variety also goes for texture, not just flavor. Since we included two semi-firm cheeses, we decided to include a much softer, brie-styled cheese. That way, at least one cheese will be smearable- perfect for eating with a freshly cut baguette.
We like to leave the softer cheeses whole, so whoever is eating can dig-in at will. Plus, the Dorothy’s Creamery flower cheese is so beautiful- it’s fun to use as a cheesy-centerpiece for the board.
Once you have your cheeses all laid out, it’s time to bring on the ham! Again, thinly slicing prosciutto and salami is very important. A thick slice of prosciutto feels almost gamey and overwhelming rubbery, whereas a thin slice will delightfully melt away in your mouth.
Thinly sliced prosciutto is almost always ribboned out into ruffles. It’s not only visually attractive, but functional too; the ribbons will stop the thin slices of prosciutto from sticking to each other, so you can eat with ease.
Speck is filled with intense flavor, as it gets rubbed and cured with a blend of spices (like bay leaves and juniper berries). It's smokey, slightly funky, and pleasantly salty.
Rigani is Larder-staff favorite. It's a Greek-styled salami flavored with oregano, garlic, and orange zest. Extremely palatable with the slightest kick of heat.
Now, is the fun part. Fill in the blank sections with any accoutrements you'd like on your board. Roasted almonds, chili pepper jam, quality butter- all things that make a good cheeseboard amazing.
-Le Meunier Butter
We’ve previously noted that this Le Meunier butter is the only thing that’ll make us lose interest in cheese (Check out our blog post on it here). So we knew we had to include it on our all-star board! Just a liberal smear of Le Meunier on a crusty baguette is all you truly need.
The BRINS Chili Pepper is our favorite go-to condiment for a cheese board. Spicy chili peppers cooked down in a bath of apple cider vinegar, ginger root, garlic and a touch of lime juice-- you can't go wrong. This jam has a smooth lingering spice with a kick of flavor from all sides.
Our roasted nuts are made by taking whole almonds and toasting them to perfection. Then we season them up by mixing in Maldon Sea Salt and extra virgin olive oil. The result is perfectly seasoned nuts with a savory, salty finish.
They’re the perfect crunchy, salty, nutty snack addition to any cheese board. Plus, they’re great for filling in small holes in your cheese board!
Last step is adding decorative additions. We like to add fresh herbs and flowers. Anything with a pop of color to bring the cheese board together. Now, you're all done and ready to impress your friends and family with this stunner of a cheeseboard. Bon Appetit!