Holiday Cheese Platter

Holiday Cheese Platter

Details

With a few tips and tricks, you'll be surprised how quick and easy it is to put together a fancy cheese platter.
  • Serves: 25 to 50
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Views: 26,722
  • Success: 92%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Cucumber Garnish

• 1 whole, English cucumber

Method

To create the garnish, start by cutting off the ends of the cucumber to create a stable base. Measure your paring knife to the center of the cucumber and make crown-like incisions all the way around, cutting right to the center. Make sure to connect the cuts. Once done, gently pull the cucumber apart into two pieces. Place the garnish onto the platter and begin assembling the cheese.

Step 2: Assembling and Garnishing the Platter

• pecorino cheese
• brie
• cheddar cheese
• camembert
• blue cheese
• stilton
• gorgonzola
• Danish blue cheese
• 1 bunch green grapes
• 1 bunch red grapes
• 1/4 cup almonds (or other nuts)
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
• 1 bunch fresh thyme
• 6 whole strawberries

Method

Start by cutting the firm types of cheese into strips. Build them up by crisscrossing them like a number sign. Then assemble each cheese with the point facing the cucumber garnish.

We recommend leaving the soft types of cheese whole, and then alternating the harder cheeses with some standing up and some lying down.

Next, add the grapes in between the each cheese so they are coming out from the centerpiece. Garnish with a few of your favorite roasted nuts and dried fruits.

Use some fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to finish off the garnish. Lastly add some fresh fruit, such as strawberries or gooseberries.

Chef's Notes

Please note that the platter shown is for about 25 to 50 people, depending on the amount of other foods on your buffet. Plan for 1 ½ to 2 ounces of cheese per person and scale this recipe accordingly.

If you don’t know a lot about cheese, don’t be afraid to ask the person at the cheese counter. We suggest finding a good local cheese shop though. Tell them you are having a party and would like a good cross-section of cheeses (a soft brie or camembert, a blue, a goat, and a hard cheese, like an aged cheddar, for example). They will be most happy to guide you. And don’t be afraid to ask for samples. It’s part of the business.

Make sure the cheese is brought to room temperature before presenting to guests. You can create a platter way ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Just make sure to take it out at least an hour before serving.

8 Comments

  • Mirabel U
    Mirabel U
    love that platter! where can i buy one like that?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Yes it's true, we picked it up from a tile store:)
  • Mirabel U
    Mirabel U
    cool, innovative, intelligent and classy! way to go!
  • Ali B
    Ali B
    Very creative Joe! Great work
  • Randall  M
    Randall M
    Thanks for this -- we had a spare floor tile we used for the platter and now all my relatives think we are amazing!
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    In France and in other countries, during long meals the cheese platter is presented before dessert. At what time would you advise to present a dish platter in the USA?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    It really just comes down to personal preference. I know some people like to serve their platters before a meal starts, like an appetizer with drinks. However, in this case, guests can easily fill up before they even sit down to eat the main course. This is part of the reason why they are often served at the end of a meal. Alternatively, you can plan for a more casual meal, where you serve cheese, sliced meats, olives, some nice bread and even some fancy nuts. This can be a real nice way to enjoy a more social meal without being too stuffed. It's also not a very stressful meal to put together, which is always good in my books. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    Thanks for your insight... I have hesitated to serve cheese platters at the beginning of meals in the USA (as it is usually done here in gatherings) exactly for the reasons that you have pointed out. Your advice has been very helpful for making a balanced decision next time I plan including cheeses.

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