The holidays are right around the corner, which means endless entertaining will be here before you know it. Whether you’re hosting dinner parties or attending potlucks, Rookwood Pottery and Murray’s Cheese are here to show you just how easy it is to entertain this holiday season.
Follow these six steps to build the perfect charcuterie board that will be sure to make you the hit of any holiday gathering.
Step one: Start with a beautiful board.
Choose the Emilia Charcuterie Board from Rookwood Pottery. It’s a timeless addition to your kitchen, and handcrafted right here in Cincinnati. When not in use, the board—each hand-made, hand-glazed, and designed by Rookwood artist Morgan Willenbrink—looks beautiful hanging on your wall. When it’s time to entertain, it seamlessly transitions to pull its weight at the table. “Our approach is all about functional art,” says Suzette Percival, Rookwood Pottery’s marketing director. “We want to celebrate the everyday, so you can have an impromptu gathering that looks beautiful.”
Step two: Add a Murray’s mini brie in the center of the board.
This double-creme wheel of Murray’s Brie complements the shape of the board and anchors the plate, creating a delicious focal point.
Step three: Choose four other cheeses to add to the mix.
While any cheesemonger can help you pick out a stellar lineup, we’ve got our own suggestions that will be a true crowd pleaser.
Start with Murray’s Young Manchego cheese. Not only does this cheese have a lightly nutty taste, but it’s one of the few that are cut in a triangle shape, adding some visual variety to the plate.
Next, opt for Murray’s new smoked cheddar. Cheddar is a charcuterie board staple and serves as a friendly, easy cheese—particularly for guests who may be less adventurous.
For your third, go for the Parrano truffle, an aged gouda with shavings of Italian black truffle, which will turn a simple board into one of luxury. Guests not truffle fans? Opt for pepper jack, or another cheese from the flavored family. Look for something to spice up your board.
Lastly, head for an aged gouda. This is the sweetest cheese on your board, with butterscotch and caramel notes. Hard, crumbly cheeses like this one give your board variety in shape and texture.
Step four: Add blueberry preserves—or another sweet spread—on top of your mini brie.
The addition of a sweet onto your center cheese might get a little messy when you cut into the wheel, but we promise the combination will be perfect, even when it runs down into the Brie.
Step five: Choose your other accompaniments.
For this step, think about the color you can add to your board. Dried cherries are a nice touch, and perfect for fall. Crackers are a great bet too, especially ones with seeds baked in, adding extra color and crunch. Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Cheese Crisps are particularly great picks. We also love Marconi almonds, a Spanish nut that’s fried in olive oil and salted. These go particularly well with the Manchego, as they’re both Spanish. Remember: What grows together, goes together.
Step six: Garnish and enjoy!
If you’re looking to add some extra color, you can add rosemary (or another herb) to the tray to draw your guests’ eyes. Then, dig in—we’re betting your board won’t last long. Good thing it’s a showcase piece even when the cheese is long gone.
Want more holiday inspiration? Rookwood Pottery will be hosting a Holiday Open House at the Over-the-Rhine Flagship store at 1920 Race St. from November 15-17. Find out more here.