Entertaining is all about serving up memories and great food. It’s about having fun and enjoying friends and family. So many of our family’s most heartfelt conversations have been around our little farmhouse table, dreaming and snacking on crackers with warm brie and Spiced Marionberry. We’ve also been known to enjoy a cheese platter picnic with our kids by the creek in the midst of summer harvest.
Serving a cheese platter or charcuterie board is one of the most beautiful, and one of the easiest, ways to serve your favorite people. What should you put on a cheese platter? Artisan made cheeses with Oregon berry fruit spreads, local charcuterie, and fun garnishes are some of the best places to start! Do you just need some quick recommendations of how to pair our fruit spreads with cheese? CLICK this link to see a full-size rendition version of the above Suggestions. Be sure to note: we really love Triple Cream Brie. The next time you visit the market check out the cheese case for this incredibly smooth, rich treat.
Now, let’s learn how to build the perfect cheese platter by following the steps below!
1. The Platter
Here’s the good news: almost any flat surface plate, cutting board, serving board, or baking sheet can be used as a cheese platter. All of them can be beautiful! Top whatever you’re going to use with a sheet of parchment paper to make it food-surface-friendly and for easy clean up.
Pro-Tip: use a baking sheet with edges if you have to travel with the board. It keeps things from sliding around! If you are looking to purchase a board, go take a look at ours right here.
Start by placing your local cheeses on your board, spreading them out and using them as your main ‘anchors’ for everything else you’ll add in the next steps. Pre-slice hard cheeses so they are easier to serve. Plan on, at least, 3 ounces of cheese per guest. Serving at least three different types of cheeses on a large platter gives guests choices in taste and texture. To ensure a good balance, choose one cheese from the firm, soft, aged and blue cheese groups. Be sure to label each cheese so your guests will know what they are eating and make sure they have been at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
3. Serving Dishes and Jars
Second, add our fruit spreads and larger dishes to your platter. You can place our jars right on the board or spoon them into serving dishes for more pops of color. Our pairing chart gives some wonderful guidance to making the perfect bites! Hint: Raspberry Marionberry and Blackberry Aronia Lavender complement almost any goat, cow, or sheep milk cheeses! Besides Mt. Hope Farms fruit spreads, other good options are local honey, hummus, and pickles.
Add your favorite charcuterie to the board, using 2 to 3 varieties. Plan for about 1 to 2 ounces per person. Fold larger slices of prosciutto and salami into quarters and place them close to together, next to the cheeses you have already placed on the board. You can create fun designs that wind through the board as well- it’s totally up to your imagination!
5. Nuts, berries, and fun, unexpected additions!
Now, fill everything in! Add your crunch with crackers and nuts. Add more texture and freshness with seasonal fruit (berries are always a hit). Have FUN with this part and think about the little snacks that guests love- popcorn, hazelnuts, walnuts, pretzels, even dark chocolate. Don’t worry about fitting all of your crackers on the board. You can fill in as need and you can have a basket of breads and crackers off to the side.
6. Garnish and dig in!
Use edible flowers, herbs such as rosemary and dill… anything that you can think of to put your own spin on the board. Use these to fill in spaces and to add personality, showing off your style.