With just a wedge of cheese and some snacks from the refrigerator and pantry, you can create a fun cheese plate for any occasion. Sometimes, my cheeseboards are fancy, and other times they are as casual as a paper plate with some cheese, crackers and grapes or apple slices.
Unless I’m planning something for a special occasion, my cheeseboards are typically a random assortment of odds and ends from the pantry.
What’s your favorite cheese? Do you have one? Mine changes daily and on a whim, so while today’s favorite might be an extra sharp cheddar, tomorrow’s could just as easily be a mild brie or a Swiss. When I’m making sandwiches, I tend to reach most often for Pepper Jack, Swiss or provolone.
In case you didn’t already know, natural cheeses like Cheddar, Monterey jack, mozzarella and Swiss contain minimal amounts of lactose because most of the lactose is removed when the curds are separated from the whey in the cheese making process. So, for the lactose intolerant, these cheeses are a terrific source of calcium. Whether you want a low-lactose cheese, are looking for the best cheese to have with wine or are gluten-free — find the cheese that’s right for you!
To make your own cheese plates, just set everything out on the counter and let people at it. We’ve seen some very interesting flavor combinations created over the years.
To make individual cheese plates, for each person, you might want to have a few of the following things:
- Assorted cheeses
- Assorted crackers
- A small handful of assorted nuts
- Jam or a grainy mustard (I typically use this habanero peach jam or this cranberry pepper jam.)
- A few tiny pickles or olives
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Homemade ranch dip
If we’re calling this dinner on a casual night at home, we might add sliced hard sausage and a bit of some other charcuterie meats, as well as a little more cheese to make it more filling.
There really isn’t a wrong way to make a cheese plate. It’s the perfect snack, lunch, dinner, or appetizer for a crowd. Have fun with it all and make it your own.
If you just want cheese and crackers, that works. If you’re more likely to reach for apple slices and a bit of cheese, that works too. Just want a wedge of brie topped with jam? That sounds delicious. Snap a photo and join the fun!