Cook on a Whim: Patriotic Cheeseboard

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Patriotic cheeseboard. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

Happy Memorial Day (almost)!

I created this red, white and blue cheeseboard as a great big “thank you” to all who have served, those who are currently serving and those who will serve in the future. I am thankful for you all, and especially for my husband, my Marine, my love.

We had lots of fun creating and eating this one! I know we are still practicing social distancing, but there’s no reason we can’t create beautiful cheeseboards for ourselves and our families at home.

Here are my cheeseboard tips.

Creating cheese, fruit and charcuterie boards is one of my favorite things to do. There really are no rules and, for me, it’s like painting a picture. I usually start with a loose theme, often based around the season or the closest holiday. For this patriotic cheeseboard, I chose ingredients that were red, white and blue, but also in season.

When arranging my boards, I choose a nice big cutting board or tray, and I set my cheeses and anything in containers — like the honey jars — down first. Then I fill in with big clusters of fruits, meats, crackers and nuts. I like keeping things in clusters, as opposed to mixing it all up, because I think it is just far more pleasing to the eye. I like to fill in all the gaps and make it look really abundant and inviting.

As far as cheeses, I like to have a blue, a goat and something universally popular — like a mild cheddar or a mild brie. Then I’ll usually pick one wild card or seasonally flavored cheese. Trader Joe’s usually has some fun options. I think they have a blueberry goat cheese that would be perfect on this board.

For meats, you can’t go wrong with prosciutto, hard salami and a really spicy pepperoni — but, again, use what you love.

For ease of serving, if you have any really hard cheeses, it’s helpful to slice, cube or crumble them first. Also, let your cheeses come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.

Have some napkins or plates nearby and small forks or toothpicks for serving. And don’t forget to serve some beverages to wash it all down. Seasonal beers, wine or cider would all be great choices, but a signature cocktail is always fun! And rosé is always a good idea.

Side note: Did you ever know that blackberries were so beautiful on the inside? (That’s probably my favorite part of this whole photo and it’s so teeny-tiny.)

I hope you all have a great day, filled with love and good food.

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