How to Assemble the Ultimate Summer Cheeseboard

    I feel like cheeseboards are one thing in life that I am pretty close to mastering.  I would credit the fact that my husband and I have ordered just about every cheeseboard available at every restaurant we've been to.  Basically if a cheeseboard is on the menu, we're 100% getting it.  I've always loved appetizers more than actual meals so this is an ideal spread for me- lots of little bites and different flavors!  It is also the EASIEST meal to prepare for entertaining yet it still looks super impressive and beautiful.  Can you tell that I may be a little too obsessed with cheeseboards?  How could you not though after looking at this bright + colorful spread? 

      I've put together the ultimate summery cheeseboard for you just in time for your Memorial Day Weekend festivities!  Kick off the season in style by serving up this amazing and ridiculously delicious spread for your friends and family.  You can find all the ingredients, recipes, + instructions for assembling below.

xoxo

Emily

Balsamic Pickled Strawberries with Brie (recipe below)

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella (recipe below)

Manchego cheese

Blue Cheese

Salami (1-2 different varieties)

Pimento Cheese Spread (use a store-bought variety or make you own; I used Kroger's "Jarlsburg Bacon + Chive Dip" from the deli section)

Proscuitto

Pepperoni

Olives

 Mustard

Raspberries

Blackberries

Pears

Peaches

Cherries

Nuts of your choice

Bagel Chips

 Toasted French Bread Slices

Cut up about 10-12 strawberries and place in a mason jar or small bowl.  Cover with 1 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (you can use a little more or less but just be sure the strawberries are covered!).  Add some fresh thyme and basil (a tablespoon or so of each), one vanilla bean, and a couple tablespoons of honey.  Stir to combine and then cover and refrigerate until serving. These will last 3-4 days in the fridge!  I served mine on top of baked brie (get instructions for that here), but it is also wonderful on top of goat cheese.

Half a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes and add to a mason jar or refrigerator dish.  Top with 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (add a little more olive oil if needed to ensure the tomatoes are covered in oil).   Add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and a small handful of fresh basil.  Finish with a generous sprinkle of salt, pepper, and thyme (at least 1/2 tablespoon of each).  Gently stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate until serving.  Add about 10 ounces of fresh mozzarella balls to the mixture right before you serve.  These will last around 1 week in the fridge!

1.  Slice your cheeses and meats into bite sized pieces (we used crumbled blue cheese so that did not need to be sliced at all; and some meats like pepperoni and prosciutto may come pre-sliced).

2.  Most of your fruit can be served whole (cherries, raspberries, and blackberries), but your peaches and pears will need to be sliced into bite sized pieces.

3.  Grab a handful of each item and start placing them on your board.  Try to mix the items so that there is a good balance of color and types of food (for example-don't put all the cheeses together in one spot, but disperse them throughout the board in between different fruits and meats).

4.  Place both the jars of marinated tomatoes and the pickled strawberries on the board with a serving spoon inside.  You can scoop a bit of the pickled strawberries onto your brie.

5.  For items like the pimento cheese spread and mustard, you can just take a large scoop of each and add it directly to the board (put a small serving knife or spoon beside them too!).

6.  Finally add a few big handfuls of bagel chips and toasted French bread slices throughout the board.  To make the most delicious toasted French bread: Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet on medium to high heat.  Add your french bread slices, lightly toasting on each side until golden brown.  Place on a paper towel to cool.

7. Share + enjoy!

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