PERFECTING THE HOLIDAY CHEESE PLATTER

There’s no secret that I love a fabulous cheese platter and with all the holiday gatherings this time of year the cheese platter is the easiest accessory to have on hand. I often joke with friends that if I could be a professional cheese platter maker that I would. I wanted to share some tips and tricks I’ve learned when putting these together to help out with your next gathering.

1.Grab any tray or platter you have, I actually used a large wood tray here and put down parchment paper so the cheese and apricots wouldn’t stick to the bottom. I used another cheese board for a larger piece of brie which I also served. I’ve picked up several boards from Target, Home Goods, and Pottery Barn. I like to have different sizes on hand for the number of people I am entertaining.

2. When it comes to cheese selection this can vary depending on each person’s preference. Cheese can get quite expensive but you don’t have to go overboard to please everyone. I normally buy all my cheese from Trader Joe’s as they have a wide selection at reasonable prices. I’ve also bought cheese from Costco when I have a larger crowd. One secret for Whole Foods is to check the bin in the cheese section with leftover cheese that isn’t cut correctly, it’s usually less than $4 or $5 for a small block.

3. The recommendation is usually to have a soft, creamy one such as Brie or Camembert; a firmer cheese such as Cheddar, Gouda, or Gruy√®re; and a hard grate style such as Parmigiano. Sometimes, I also have a Boursin which is usually a crowd favorite. Take the cheese out about 30-45 minutes before your party so it’s at room temperature and easier to slice. On this cheese platter I also cute out a few pieces in a star shape to make it more festive.

4. For garnishes you can use whatever appeals to you. I usually choose apricots, marcona almonds(I buy these from Trader Joe’s), olives, apples, Proscuitto, grapes, and olives.

5. As a side cracker I will have water crackers and these fig and olive crisps from Trader Joe’s which accompany any platter nicely. Sometimes I’ll slice up a baguette as well especially with brie.

6. Lastly, to make this platter more festive, I threw on a few Rosemary garnishes on the side.

P.S. I am calling this Festive Friday and hope to have a few more recipes for you all during the next coming Friday’s. Why not, it’s the holidays after all.

PHOTOS BY: SHANLEY COX
  • Sara Mueller

    Such a pretty cheese platter!

    • noelani

      THANKS SARA!!!

  • Kathy

    I love this!! Excellent ide! Thank you for going into detail about which cheeses to put on a cheese platter. I will plan to do this for my next event, although it looks perfect enough to have for dinner on a Friday or Saturday night with a glass of wine.

    • noelani

      THANK YOU KATHY, I AM GLAD YOU FOUND IT HELPFUL. YOU’LL HAVE TO LET ME KNOW HOW YOUR CHEESE PLATTER TURNS OUT!