Cheese platters - the ultimate in impressive entertaining, with absolutely none of the My-Kitchen-Rules drama of a hot kitchen. Making your own cheese platter is simple and fun, and sure to get your guests talking! Follow these three easy steps, you’ll have a gorgeous, Instagram-perfect platter in no time.
Pick Your Cheese
There are no hard and fast rules to choosing cheeses. Some people prefer to serve just one cheese, and let it shine, others like a variety. Traditionally, the French serve odd numbers of cheese – either three, five, or seven (why? Who knows!). Here are a few ideas for selecting your cheeses.
Choose a variety of textures and flavours. Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group. Some examples:
- Aged: Comté, Reypenaer, Beaufort
- Soft: Camembert, Brillat-Savarin, or a Washed-rind like Langres
- Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Blue: Fourme d’Ambert, Valdeón, Shropshire
Choose a variety of milk-types (cow, goat, sheep). One from each category is a good variety.
Alternatively, focus on just one milk type, or one category of cheese. This is a great way to explore the differences in texture and flavour within one category of cheese.
Consider how many people you’re serving, and when. An after-dinner cheeseboard for two will require much less cheese than for six friends around for afternoon drinks. As a guide, go for 80-100g of cheese per person, or 60-80g for after dinner.
Add AccompanimentsAccompaniments allow you and your guests to play with flavour and texture pairings, and clean your palate in-between cheeses. There is a huge variety of options, so get creative!
- Savoury – great for before-dinner cheeses. Think olives, cured meats (like serrano and saucisson), nuts, chutney, and seasonal fruit & vegetables (peeled Dutch carrots or whole radishes can look very impressive).
- Sweet – work well on an after-dinner platter. Jams, honey (especially with goat cheese!), dried and fresh seasonal fruit, and nuts are all beautiful options.
Plate & Serve
Pick a platter that gives plenty of room to arrange and cut the cheeses and
accompaniments. No need to buy an expensive cheese board – a clean wood or marble chopping board is a great alternative.
Serve the cheeses at room temperature. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator about 30 min – 1 hour before serving. Adjust the time depending on the heat of the day and the hardness of the cheese.
Set out a separate knife for each cheese to avoid getting your oozy brie all over your aged cheddar!