Did you know July 25 is National Wine & Cheese Day? Celebrate with one of my favorite lazy dinners – aka the cheeseboard / charcuterie tray – with this easy cheeseboard how-to!
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Step 1: Pick your cheese
Choose 3-5 cheeses for your board (it’s best to mix it up with different types and textures of cheese – hard, soft, cow and goat)
Step 2: Grab a board
Pick a board you want to make it on. I love using a slate or wooden cutting board. Don’t have a board? No problem! Use a pretty plate or serving tray.
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Step 3: Add some crunch
Grab a sourdough baguette to slice and an assortment of crackers or pretzels – this is best for soft spreadable cheeses like a brie, and will add that necessary crunch! You can also add some roasted nuts like almonds or pecans.
Step 4: Now for the protein!
Proscuitto, salami, and mortadella are all classic Italian picks. Being in South Louisiana, I myself am a huge fan of adding in some cooked andouille sausage, cracklins, or boudin!
Step 5: A little bit of sugar…
Add something sweet – honey goes with almost every cheese and adds that little bit of sweetness, and apricot preserves or fig jam pair well with sharp or aged cheeses
Step 6: Pickled veg anyone?
Choose a selection of pickles, pickled veggies and stuffed olives to add that extra zing! My go-to picks for a cheeseboard or charcuterie plate are garlic-stuffed olives or gherkin pickles.
Step 7: Grab some fruit + vegetables…
Add fresh seasonal fruit or vegetables – berries, peaches, and melon are all perfect for summer! Apple slices, grapes and pears also pair well with a variety of cheeses. I tend to add cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, or carrots when I have them too. This will add a colorful pop to any cheeseboard and give you even more to nibble on!
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Step 8: Time for wine!
Don’t forget the wine! You can even make it a fun tasting and try out a few different varieties to see which pairs best with each type of cheese. I’m not a stickler for what wine variety pairs with what, so I almost always grab a bottle of my favorite red and new wine to try!
For all my Baton Rouge locals:
Calandro’s Supermarket is my favorite place to go for cheese board supplies, and I’ve always been impressed with the wine and cheese selections at Matherne’s, Rouses, and Alexander’s Highland Market, as well as Winn-Dixie, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market. But if you’re not in the mood to craft your own and still want to celebrate, grab a board at any of these amazing local businesses:
- Bites & Boards
- City Pork Brasserie & Bar
- Blend Baton Rouge
- Bin 77 Bistro & SideBar
- Randazzo’s Italian Market
Have any places to add? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!