Looking for a simple, yet fancy appetizer to share? Then you're going to love this Cheese Board for Two! It's easy to assemble, ready in minutes, and you can find the ingredients anywhere ... it's the perfect treat for an at home date night or girls night!
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Do you have a go-to appetizer? Mine is definitely the cheese plate!
It's elegant, yet inviting. Impressive, but quick to throw together. And totally foolproof, because pretty much everyone loves cheese. Throw some wine into the mix, and it really doesn't get any better!
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to create a simple cheese board for two. The star of this beautiful app is a round of brie with a jam-filled, heart-shaped center. So cute, right?
This show stopping array of treats is the perfect snack (or let's face it, meal!) for a relaxed evening, whether you're planning a romantic at home date night, cozy girls night in, or celebrating a special occasion ... like the fact that it's finally Friday!
Best of all, you don't need to break the bank to make this easy appetizer. While you could definitely splash out with fancy cheeses and other gourmet ingredients, it's also possible to find everything you need at your local grocery store ... and that's exactly what I did!
Have I made you hungry yet? Then keep reading to learn how to assemble your own cheese board for two!
What to Include on a Cheese Plate
A beautiful board starts with the basics ... cheese and crackers. Once you've got that figured out, choose a few extras to complement the cheese.
When selecting the accompaniments, the key is to balance contrasting flavors and textures. For example, pair salty nuts with sweet dried fruit, zesty olives with a mild, creamy dip, or light fruit with rich cheese.
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Cheese - For two people, pick one to three cheeses. If you're not sure what works best, check out my tips below.
- Crackers + Bread - You need something to eat the cheese on. Crunchy crackers are a classic, but crusty bread (fresh or toasted) is also a great choice, especially with spreadable cheeses.
- Nuts - Almost any kind of nut works. Try pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, or a mixture. Flavored or candied nuts are also delish.
- Olives - Briny olives pair so well with cheese. I used plump Castelvetrano olives here, but other varieties, like easy-to-find kalamatas, work too.
- Pickles - Another briny bite that is always welcome on a cheese plate! You could go sweet or sour here. Petite Cornichons are always an excellent choice.
- Dried Fruit - The sweetness of dried fruit complements salty cheese so well. I especially love dried apricots and figs.
- Fresh Fruit - Of course, fresh fruit is also delicious! Almost anything goes here, including apples, pears, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, and grapes.
- Veggies - If you're really going all out, don't be afraid to include a few vegetables on your tray. Fresh, marinated, and dried veggies all work. You could even add some pickled onions.
- Dips + Spreads - Consider adding your favorite dips and spreads to the board, too. Try something sweet, like fig spread or a gourmet jam, but consider savory options, like hummus, romesco sauce, pesto, and whole grain mustard, too.
- Fresh Herbs - If you have them on hand, fresh herbs make a beautiful, fragrant garnish.
- Chocolate - For me, a little bit of dark chocolate is the perfect finishing touch for any board!
Three Ideas ... from Simple to Elaborate
Not sure where to start? Try ones of these cheese board ideas, ranging from easy to elaborate:
- Simple Cheese Platter - Just the basics! Include one of each: cheese, crackers, nuts, dried or fresh fruit.
- A Little Fancier, but Still Easy - Add a little variety to those basics. Pick two (or more) cheeses, crackers, nuts, olives or pickles, dried or fresh fruit, and chocolate.
- Elaborate Cheese Board - All of the above! Try three (or more) cheeses, crackers and bread, fruit, veggies, nuts, olives, spreads, chocolate, etc. This is an excellent opportunity to clean out your cupboard and refrigerator!
Personally, I tend to lean toward elaborate (I just can't resist), even when it's just the two of us. You can always save the leftovers for later if you go a little overboard.
Selecting Cheeses for a Board
Choosing the cheese is often the trickiest part. Try not to overthink things though!
If you're only using one cheese, pick something that everyone loves, like brie or cheddar. When selecting two or more cheeses, you want to think in terms of contrasting textures and flavors:
- Soft - A soft, spreadable cheese is a crowd pleaser. Pretty much everyone loves Brie, but feel free to select something a little more unexpected, like a goat cheese, Camembert or Mont d'Or.
- Aged - A firm, aged cheese, like Cheddar or Gouda, will add depth to your cheese plate. This is a good place to include a cheese you know everyone will enjoy.
- Smelly / Blue - A funky blue cheese will add a little excitement to your cheese plate. There are so many varieties, ranging from classic Stilton to rich Saint Agur.
For example, you could pair a soft, creamy cheese with a firmer, aged cheese. Or if you're using a stinky blue cheese, pair it with a milder cheese. For this board, I went with creamy brie, an aged gouda, and a pungent blue cheese ... perfect combo!
Still not sure? Head to your local cheese store (or fancy grocery store) and ask the cheese monger for suggestions. They are always happy to help, and it's a great way to learn about (and try) different cheeses!
Pairing Wine with Cheese
When it comes to pairing wine with cheese, first of all don't panic! (Ha.)
Choose a wine that you enjoy drinking, while keeping in mind that white wine is a little more foolproof than red. Crisp whites, like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis and champagne / sparkling wine, often work well, because they're acidic and able to cut through the rich cheese.
That doesn't mean that you can't enjoy red wine with cheese. Just look for a lighter-bodied, fruity reds with fewer tannins (like a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir) ... that way, the wine won't overpower the flavor of the cheese.
Not a wine aficionado? Sip your favorite beer or even a classic cocktail. Don't drink at all? Try sparkling water instead.
Tip: Not even sure where to start? Visit your local wine store and ask for assistance, or check out this helpful article from Wine Enthusiast. It has tons of different options for pairing all different kinds of cheeses with both reds and whites.
How to Assemble a Cheese Board for Two
Okay, now that we've gone over all the basics, let's build this board! It really is quick and easy.
The brie with the heart cut out is definitely optional, but so cute. To make it, grab a heart-shaped cookie cutter, then center it on the cheese. Press straight down until it goes all the way through the cheese.
Once the cutter is mostly through, it may be easier to pick up the cheese. Keep pressing down on the cutter until your fingers feel it piercing through the other side. It takes a little finessing, but press slowly and evenly until the cutter comes all the way out.
Tip: For best results, choose a firmer brie, like the kind you get in most grocery stores. It will hold its shape better than a super creamy brie when cut.
Place the brie exactly where you want it positioned on your board, then fill it with jam. It's inevitable that a bit of the jam will escape around the edges, so I don't recommend doing this on a marble slab or anything that's difficult to clean.
If you want to protect your board a bit, cut a circle of parchment paper slightly smaller than your cheese wheel. Then, place it under the brie.
That way, most of the jam will come in contact with the parchment paper, not the board. (You could also leave the cookie cutter in the center of the brie ... just remove the inner heart.)
Tip: Make sure to choose a thick jam (I used Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves) and wait until just before serving to add it to the brie. That way, you'll have less of a mess.
Now that the brie's ready, it's time to arrange the rest of the board.
You want to start with the most important part, of course: the cheese. If you're using more than one type, place them on different sections of the board.
For blocks of cheese, cut off a few bite sized chunks. It looks better, and it makes things easier to eat.
Next, add the crackers. Again, you want to space them around the board. Try to keep them near the cheese for easy access.
Tip: Don't feel like you need to add the whole cracker box ... you can always replenish if needed!
Finally, it's time to fill in the gaps with all your extras, like nuts, fruit, olives, chocolate, etc.
You can place these items directly on the board, or for anything that might roll away, put it in a small bowl first. This is helpful if you'll be transporting your masterpiece ... even if it's only from kitchen to couch.
If you have any holes, you can always add extra crackers or bread.
Don't forget to include knives for cutting and serving the cheese (one knife for each type is best). And you may also need serving utensils for other items like spreads, as well as a small empty bowl for nut shells, olive pits, etc.
And that's all there is to it ... your cheese board for two is ready to eat! Doesn't it look gorgeous?
You are going to love this delicious and stress free app! It truly is the best way to enjoy a relaxing evening at home!
Now that you know how to assemble this easy appetizer, here are some other cheesy recipes to try next ... you could even include them on this cheese tray!
- Herb Parmesan Crackers
- Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates
- Baked Brie with Cranberries and Pecans
- Fried Feta Saganaki
- Baked Ricotta
- Cheese Truffles
- Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives
Cheese Board for Two
- 1 wheel brie cheese
- strawberry jam (or another flavor)
- 1 to 2 other cheeses
- sliced baguette
- nuts, olives, pickles, dried or fresh fruit, veggies, dips or spreads, chocolate, etc.
- Large Wood Board
- Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutter
- Use heart-shaped cookie cookie cutter to cut out center of brie.
- Arrange brie and other cheeses on a wood board. Fill center of brie with jam.
- Scatter crackers and bread around the cheeses.
- Fill in any gaps on the board with nuts, olives, etc., if using.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy!
* This blog post is also available as Web Story 👉 “Cheese Board for 2“. *