**This post is sponsored by Castello*
Little Kitchen Big World has partnered with our friends over at Castello to give you a chance to win a prize pack (valued at over $100!), including $20 in Castello cheese vouchers, a raw wooden cheeseboard and a set of cheeseboard cheese flags to help you build an amazing holiday-inspired cheeseboard this season! All you need to do is enter your email address here! Contest ends at 11:59pm on December 1st, 2017.
Is anyone else hearing Christmas music on the radio already? It started playing at work yesterday and I started to panic because I am nowhere near ready for the holidays – but who is? There’s ALL the shopping to do, decorations to put up and dinners to plan. Oh I can plan a meal! And every holiday dinner needs a good cheeseboard. An epic one, really! So, I’m trying out a couple different ones this year, including this holiday cheeseboard that’s loaded with festive flavours and tons of cheese!
Whenever we get invited to a holiday party, or any party for that matter, I always hover around the cheeseboard. To me, it’s my favourite part of the meal! I load my plate up with creamy brie and old cheddar, a little blue cheese with honey and maybe some fruit because then it means that I’m eating healthy….sort of. I always go back for more, pretending like I didn’t just eat a whole plateful already.
So when Castello asked me to build a cheeseboard, I couldn’t resist!
This cheeseboard is packed with tons of flavour, making every bite delicious and different! It’s so much fun to mix the flavour combinations on your plate, I always end up finding a new favourite, like something sweet (honey or jam), with blue cheese or a slice of simple old cheddar with a salty slice of prosciutto. I always fill up on cheese before the main meal is even served. I’m ok with this, who wouldn’t want to fill up on cheese!?!?
This cheeseboard features all those good things but I love to add a couple homemade dips to personalize the board. I made a roasted butternut squash dip to eat with the crudites and a simple blackberry spread to go with the Castello Blue.
Cheeseboards are so fun to create and don’t have to be at all intimidating! Follow a few of these rules and you’ll have a winning cheeseboard every time ☺
- Start with the cheese! Use different flavours and textures to build your board (like a bold Castello Blue), a creamy Double Crème White, tangy Castello Tickler Extra Mature Cheddar, and all the other good cheeses
- Add the crackers – I love to use a plain water cracker but herb or cheese crackers add so much flavour!
- Add the jams, compotes, mustards and honey. If you’re into the sweet and savoury combination like I am, you know how delicious it is when you pair blue cheese with honey and jam!
- Add the extras! Like olives, nuts, dried fruit and fresh fruit! This is where you get to really spoil your guests, who doesn’t love that!?
Do’s and don’ts!
- Do go all out! Your guests will feel extra special when they see the effort you’ve put into the cheeseboard.
- Do buy the good stuff! Go ahead, splurge on those nice blocks of cheese, your taste buds will thank you.
- Don’t be afraid to try new flavour combinations! You never know what could be a winner.
- Do add all the extras. Olives, nuts and dried fruit are a great way to add little nibbles onto your cheese plate and keep people going back for more.
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
Roasted Butternut Squash Dip:
- 2 cups cubed squash
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 8 oz Castello Cream Cheese with Chives, room temperature
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- 1 round Castello Double Crème White
- 1 wedge Castello Blue
- 1 wedge Castello Tickler Extra Mature Cheddar
- 6-8oz of sliced prosciutto
- 6-8oz sliced cured chorizo
- crackers and breadsticks for serving
- fried sage leaves
- fresh pomegranate arils
- toasted walnuts
- heirloom carrots, sliced lengthwise
- honey for drizzling of blue cheese
- Blackberry spread: heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ingredients and let it simmer for 5 minutes until blackberries start to break down. Remove from heat and let it cool before serving.
- Butternut squash dip: Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the squash cubes with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then turn over and bake for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through and edges caramelized. Place the squash in a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients (start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and add more if needed at the end) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Place it in the fridge to cool. Before serving, top with fried sage leaves and drizzle with extra olive oil.
- To assemble the cheeseboard, grab a large plate or cheeseboard. Arrange the cheeses on the board as well the butternut squash dip and blackberry spread. Then add the other nibbles like prosciutto, fruits, crudite, olives and nuts. Drizzle honey over blue cheese and sprinkle pomegranate arils over the board.
- Serve with breadsticks and crackers!
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