with Muhammara spread / fruit / cheese / olives
The sky is the limit when it comes to building your own cheese board, but we wanted to give you a blueprint that you could adapt however you'd like. This meal is great if you're looking for something to set out around the holidays. It can stand on its own as a DIY meal and can be a fun (still celebratory) break from cooking. Check out this video to see how we build our board!
Smarts: To give this a Cook Smarts feel, we wanted a homemade element, and Muhammara is a savory spread that goes well with crackers and cheese. Feel free to buy it pre-made, substitute hummus or baba ganoush, or just skip it. Anything goes here!
- Baguette, small (opt) - 1 , sliced
- Apples, any variety - 1 , sliced
- Pears - 1 , sliced
- Honey - 2 Tbsp
- Olives, pitted, any type - 1/2 cup
- Marcona almonds - 1/2 cup (sub regular almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
- Cheese, soft - 3 oz (look for Brie, goat cheese, or an herb cheese like Boursin)
- Cheese, medium-firm - 3 oz (look for Havarti, Port Salut, or any type of blue cheese)
- Cheese, firm - 3 oz (look for sharp cheddar, Gouda, or Manchego)
- Crackers, any type - 8 oz
- Apricots, dried - 1/2 cup (sub any dried fruit)
- Grapes - 2 cups
- Walnuts, halves - 1/3 cup
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Roasted red bell peppers (12 oz / 355 mL) - 1 jar , drained
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
Make muhammara - Heat oven to 350F / 177C. Spread walnuts out on a small baking sheet and toast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until golden and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Combine walnuts, olive oil, roasted red bell peppers, garlic cloves, cumin, and red pepper flakes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse / blend until smooth, adding some water if needed to help the mixture blend. Taste and season with some salt. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Baguette - Slice.
Apples / Pears - Slice.
Honey / Olives / Marcona almonds - Place each of these in their own small bowls.
If you’d like the baguette slices warm, heat oven to 350F / 177C degrees and spread baguette out on a sheet pan. Transfer to the oven and bake just until warmed through.
Set out a large platter, cutting board, or rimmed sheet pan.
Arrange each type of cheese on platter (for more firm varieties, you can slice or cube them first or leave them whole).
Around the cheese, arrange the bowls of muhammara, honey, olives, and almonds.
Next, add the baguette and crackers.
Fan out the apples, pears, and dried apricots. Place small bunches of grapes onto the platter.
Set out your cheese board and enjoy!