One of the items I’ll be serving this Thanksgiving is this rustic fall cheese board that was so yummy and gave us so many leftover sandwiches when I first tested it out. The best part is that I have so many of these items on hand most of the time anyway. Nuts? Have lots. Pickles? Yep. Tons of cheese? You know it. I nabbed some prosciutto and some bread and it was ready to be assembled.
A cheese board is super flexible, so it always looks more decadent than it probably is. Use what you have on hand and add in whatever fills it out nicely. Here are some of the items I like to include on a rustic fall cheese board…
Cheeses for a rustic cheese board
Think variety when it comes to cheeses. I’d steer clear of anything too gimmicky (like pumpkin spice cheddar or something) and stick with quality classics. Here are some ideas:
Soft: soft, spreadable cheeses like double or triple creams, Chèvre, ricotta, and cremont pair well on crackers and with fruits.
Crumbly and strong: Stilton, Époisses, Gorgonzola, and similar strong and stinky cheeses are awesome for those who love them (like me!).
Aged and smoked: I used smoked gouda, but look for aged cheddar, too.
Tips: serve the cheese at room temperature if you can, and use separate knives for each flavor.
Meats + charcuterie
You can’t go too wrong with meats. I picked some prosciutto, but there’s salami, ham, summer sausage, chorizo, or whatever you love.
I’d allow for about two ounces of cheese and charcuterie per person.
My favorite! I like to include some soft breads for making sliders, sliced toasted bread for crostini, and crunchier bread sticks. You could add melba toast, seed-y breads, and lots of crackers. Consider adding a sweeter bread, too, like raisin bread.
Fruits + Nuts
Dried fruits go really well in a cheese plate since they’re so snackable and add a new texture to the mix. Slice fresh fruit also pairs really well with cheese. I used bosc pears, apples, and golden raisins. Grapes are also a given. Also in wine — hint hint. Think seasonal and you’ll save some cash and keep it theme-appropriate.
Go nuts with nuts. Any and all are great. I chose walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios. Flavored nuts would work, too. Oh, and add some dark chocolate, if you’re really looking to impress.
Mini gherkins, olives, artichoke hearts, popcorn, mustards (especially dark, grainy ones!), honey, and dipping sauces are where sandwiches are made. You could even include a savory bacon jam, bruschetta, and any varieties of sweet hams. I recommend apricot jam with cheese. See this grilled cheese recipe for solid proof. Yum.
Feel free to fill in gaps with pretty greenery like rosemary stalks, salad greens, or parsley.
Tools + Serving ware
You can totally serve a cheese board on regular ol’ plates, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, here are some items I have on my wish list:
I also used a similar serving cart to this one from Target:
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- A variety of cheeses (I used stilton, herbed goat cheese, pepper jack, smoked gouda, and white cheddar), sliced or served with spreading knives
- A variety of charcuterie meats (I used prosciutto), sliced
- Fruits (I used apples, bosc pears, and golden raisins), sliced
- Nuts (I used walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios)
- Assorted breads and crackers (I used toasted brioche, bread sticks, and soft pretzel bread)
- Assorted savories like gherkin pickles, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.
- Arrange the cheeses, nuts, fruits, breads, crackers, and savories on a large tray.
- Label each as needed with signs or on a chalkboard. Serve with small plates, napkins, small forks or toothpicks, and spreading knives for soft cheeses. Enjoy the leftovers in sammies!
If you make this recipe, share a photo and hashtag it #BIJOUXANDBITS. I’d love to see what you’re cooking!