Whenever I throw a party, I have this slight phobia that there won’t be enough food for my guests. A cheese platter is the perfect solution. Anytime I’m entertaining, I almost always put a platter out, whether its a full and large set like the one here or just to supplement other starters. With a beautiful cheese platter to graze on, none of your guests will go home hungry!

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

I typically pick out 3 or 4 different cheeses and supplement with nuts, cured meats, preserves and olives. The key is picking out a range of cheese so that you have something that suits everyone’s palate, so serving a blue, a soft, a hard and an aged covers most everyone’s preferences.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

A good sharp white cheddar is always popular. I don’t like the look of pre-sliced cheese (especially when it has been sitting around), so instead I just take a pairing knife and break off large chunks.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

I like to include a small wedge of blue, like Cashel Blue. Laid on its side is best for serving since its a little creamy and crumbly.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

And you can never go wrong with a good triple cream. Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk is incredible and a real crowd pleaser.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

Finally, a simple manchego is the perfect firm cheese especially if you have a fruit preserve to go with it.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

I recently made a lot of kumquat jam so I included a small jar on the platter, which went wonderfully with the white cheddar.  Of course something like quince paste is a classic pairing with cheese.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

Kumquat Jam
My friend has a large and prosperous kumquat tree and asked if I wanted some of the fruit before they were all gone. I jumped at the chance, as I love to snack on kumquats. […]

I always supplement with cured meats like prosciutto and sweet salami.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

One of my favorite nuts is the marcona almond. If you’ve never had them, they’re like a richer version of a regular almond without the skin. You can add more flavor by roasting them lightly with extra origin olive oil and rosemary, but they’re delicious as is.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

And no cheese patter at my party is complete without a bowl of olives. It is super simple to marinate your own with some lemon zest, coriander and bay leaves, and the best part is you can do this the day before. My favorites are Lucques, Nicoise, and Castelvetrano, but you can put together whatever combination you like. The key is to use unpitted olives, their flavor and texture is far superior to pitted olives.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

marinated olives 1Marinated Olives
Olives are one of my favorite snacks. It’s a little frightening, but I can easily polish off a can of olives on my own. Making your own marinated olives is very simple and it keeps […]

When arranging your platter try to play with different heights and keep the arrangement compact. I usually use a large slate cheese board or a large wood cutting board and place large chunks of cheese in different corners, with the tallest cheese on the edge so it’s easier to slice. Then, I fill in with small bowls of nuts, olives and fruit preserve (recipes to follow later this week). And finally, I fill in any free space with cured meats. I love this style of presentation and so will your guests!

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

(images by HonestlyYUM)