All the details on how to build an amazing cheese board, Spanish style. Spanish inspired appetizers to build the best cheese board this holiday season and all year round!
This post is NOT sponsored, however we were gifted a copy of Lisa Dawn Bolton’s cookbook “On Boards: Simple & Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering” from Appetite by Random House publishing.
Dining and entertaining done right is how I view On Boards: Simple & Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering. Every board is an easy gateway to a delicious meal or the perfect way to make sure everyone gets something they want and love to eat.
In the cookbook, Lisa breaks down charcuterie, cheese, and so many other boards into simple easy steps. And it’s not all cheese boards friends. From hummus to sushi, Lisa covered a board for everyone.
Everyone adored this cookbook. Ideal for hostess gifts, random secret Santa gifts, or even for the ultimate foodie in your life, this cookbook was one that everyone at cookbook club enjoyed and said they would cook from it again.
We made 6 different boards, including the board shared in this post, the Barcelona Board. Everyone seemed really smitten with the Crostini for a Crowd and the Chocolate Dessert Board (make the chocolate salami friends, you won’t regret it).
What is a cheese board?
For me a cheese board includes a few starring roles: cheese (duh), cracker or sliced baguette, and complimenting accompaniments (grapes, fruit, vegetables, pickles, charcuterie, dips, jams, and sauces).
If it tastes good to you and makes sense, it’s probably going to work for everyone else too.
What is on a charcuterie board?
Lisa’s advice for a charcuterie board is a good one as she recommend fridge foraging to build what you can with what you have on hand. There’s truly no right answer to an everyday charcuterie board. If you want to get fancy then this Barcelona Board is an easy Spanish appetizer done right. Packed with Spanish flavours and I can guarantee there’s something for everyone on the board.
On Boards gives ideas and recipes, but how it’s styled really comes down to what you’d like to see on the board. Like mentioned in the book, a board is a vehicle for everyone to pick and share from. It’s more about enjoying the company and creating memories.
Best cheeses for a board:
On Boards covers all the various types of cheeses and even how to slice them. If I’m in a pinch and need a few different cheeses for an everyday cheese board, I like to have one firm cheese (an aged cheddar or gouda), one soft cheese (brie or camembert), and one “funky” cheese (goat, a creamy blue, a stinky French cheese). Even with a handful of people serving a few smaller options is probably better than one giant hunk of cheese.
I’ve found in serving 3 different cheeses with unique personalities, it’s easy for everyone in the room to find one they love.
Other easy appetizers:.
- Hot Dates
- Cheese, Ham and Olive Bites
- Endive Beet Bites
- Mini Turkey Meatballs with Easy Cranberry Dip
- 10 Best Make Ahead Holiday Appetizers
All the details are covered on how to build an amazing cheese board, Spanish style. Spanish inspired appetizers to build the best cheese board.
- 1-2 cups romesco sauce (see recipe below)
- 4 cups grapes on the vine, green and black preferred
- 8 dates
- 3 links cured chorizo (the hard cured chorizo from the deli section vs chorizo sausage)
- 16 thin slices Serrano ham (prosciutto is an excellent substitute if you can't find Serrano)
- 5 oz. Drunken Goat cheese
- 6 oz. Manchego cheese (aged 6 or 12 months)
- 5 oz. Iberico Cheese (or another Manchego as a substitute)
- 3 oz. (8 tbsp) Cabrales cheese (or a creamy mild blue cheese)
- 3/4 cup mixed olives
- 1/4 cup pickled peppers
- 1/3 cup Whole almonds, Marcona variety preferred
- 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
- 1/4 cup quince pasta (or quince jam)
- 1 large baguette
- 4-6 fresh figs
- 1/4 cup pea shoots
- 2 slices white sandwich bread (crusts on), toasted and torn into bite size pieces
- 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
- 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ganulated sugar
- 2 large jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained (around 850 ml jars total)
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes, halved (or tomatoes on the vine)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
Make the Romesco Sauce and serve in a bowl on the board.
Prepare the dates: make a small incision in each date to remove the pit. Then stuff dates with Cabrales (or blue cheese).
Slice 1-2 links of chorizo into 1/4" pieces and leave 1 link whole for the board.
In a small bowl, toss the almonds with the smoked paprika and serve scattered around the board or in a small bowl.
Prepare the other components in the style that works best for you (start with the big items such as grapes and cheeses then move onto the smaller components). Arrange everything on and around your board. Top with optional garnishes if desired.
Add toasted bread pieces, almonds, paprika, salt and sugar to a food processor. Pulse until you have a crumb mixture. Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl.
Place the drained roasted red peppers, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, and vinegar in the food processor and pulse until smooth.
Add pepper-tomato mixture to crumb mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until a thick dip / sauce* appears.
* Romesco Sauce will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 3 months. I had quite a bit of leftovers which I used for pasta (simply add 1 cup of pasta cooking water to create a lovely pasta sauce or simple use the Romesco Sauce as is on top of baked chicken).
Recipes slightly adapted and printed here with permission from Lisa Dawn Bolton, author of On Boards: Simple & Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering