There are few things at a gathering that I love more than a good cheese board. While I normally keep things pretty simple during the year, the holidays call for a gorgeous and festive spread of bites that elevate any cheeseboard to the center of attention. A few winter favorites, some cheeseboard classics, and a festively decorated bake brie will have everyone gathered around for great night. Sure this holiday cheese board looks fancy, but by taking a few simple shortcuts and rummaging through your own pantry, you’ll be able to whip this up in no time, and no one will realize how easy it was for you to do!
To create an entire ‘Holiday Party on a Board’ experience:
- Baked Brie
- Red Grapes
- Toasted Nuts
- Citrus, dried slices or clementines
- Green Olives
- Jam or Chutney
- Dried Fruit
- Assorted Cheese
- Assortment of crackers and/or a sliced baguette
- Herbs for garnish
- First things first, check your pantry and fridge. You probably already have some of the components of this board hanging out! (hello leftover pecans from making pecan pie at Thanksgiving!)
- To add extra flavor to nuts like pecans and almonds, toast them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes.
- For items like the dried fruit and olives, check out the bulk section and salad bar at your grocery store. It's much easier to buy just the small amount you need for the board than purchasing a whole bag of dried apricots or a giant jar of olives for one board.
- Obviously for any cheeseboard, you need a good selection of cheeses. My tricks here are either checking the leftovers baskets that some stores have for odds and ends of more adventurous cheeses, and then asking for the exact size I need on other varieties so that I get exactly the right amount. I like having a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano, something with a little tang like a marinated goat cheese, and then something soft, enter: your baked brie!
To assemble the baked brie:
- Take a roll of cold puff pastry and place a wheel of brie cheese in the middle of it.
- Wrap the puff pastry around the brie neatly and place fold side down on a parchment lined sheet tray.
- Bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 30 - 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked all around.
- To keep the board from getting messy when the brie is cut into, place the baked brie on a plate of about the same size so that any oozing cheese stays on the plate and makes for easier clean up.
- Of course feel free to play around with flavors and bites based on your crowd. Cheese boards should be a fun way to get everyone's favorite treats on one tray.