How to Build the Ultimate Cheese Board
Whether you want to dabble in the kitchen or craft the masterpiece shown here, we've got a plan for you. We turned to The Book of Cheese author Liz Thorpe for tips on building two versions of that New Year's Eve standby, the cheese board.
Photo: Mike Garten
A solid board starts with three to five cheeses from a variety of milk types (cow's, goat's, sheep's) and styles (fresh, creamy, firm). You can even make your own, like the luscious ricotta above (here's the recipe). To step it up, add nuts, bread and fresh jam—try Roasted Cherry Compote, from Batch coauthor Joel MacCharles—and serve with sparkling wine. "The carbonation cuts the fat and protein of cheese, cleansing your palate so you can enjoy more," says Thorpe.
Short on time or motivation? Dried cherries are a fine substitute for fruit puree, and there's no shame in using water crackers in place of a fresh loaf, says Thorpe. They're snappy and mild, so you can focus on the cheese.
Tool to Try
The handy Cheese Slicer Monaco received a Red Dot design award for its ability to seamlessly slice firmer cheeses extra thin. ($17; Boska.com)