A Valentines Cheeseboard for Two
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. And whether you celebrate or not, having the skills to put together a simple cheeseboard for two and ditch dinner just makes good, date-night relationship sense. I mean, who hasn’t come home exhausted on a Friday night and thrown a cheese plate or a charcuterie board on the table for a quick dinner? So why not plan for such an occasion instead of it being an afterthought? Ok, are you ready? Because I’m about to save your bacon and show you how to create a perfect date night cheese board that will knock the socks off your Valentine.
This year our Valentine’s Day will be a bit of a low-key affair. Mainly because it’s my birthday week, and I have a weekend full of festivities planned (and even a little mini-break with my Valentine!) After our trip home on Valentine’s Day I’ll pop together a cheese platter for two for an easy dinner along with a bottle of wine.
As this is designed to be a meal rather than an appetizer, let’s go nuts. For two people aim for 3-4 types of cheese, and roughly 100g, or a small wedge of each. A good rule of thumb is to include a creamy white mold soft cheese, blue, semi hard cheese or cheddar, and mild goat cheese. While I usually like to theme my cheeseboards with a variety of cheeses, for Valentine’s Day, I suggest picking a few favorite kinds of cheese that are tried and tested. I went with…
- Semi Hard – Shepherd’s Store – an Irish semi-hard, sheep milk, aged cheese. A favorite of mine and the perfect table cheese.
- Blue – – Shadows of Blue. Creamy and not overly strong for blue cheese. In my opinion, the best Australian cheese!
- Fresh – a French Chevre – I molded this one into a barrel shape and then sprinkled it with dried flowers
- White Mould, creamy cheese – Delice – a delectable, buttery wedge of perfectness!
My biggest piece of advice when buying cheese for a good cheeseboard is to buy from a store that specializes in cheese. While supermarkets sell a vast selection, they are usually not mature, and they’re wrapped in plastic wrap(Which makes many cheeses sweat. Not a good thing!). Instead, seek out a cheesemonger or specialty grocery stores with a cheese counter, and a good selection of cheeses that knows its stuff. Ask them what’s good and in season. If in doubt check out how the cheese is wrapped. Look for cheese paper. It looks a bit like parchment paper and is one of the best ways to store cheese. Many of my favorite cheeses are seasonal which makes them all the more special when they are available.
Always be sure to remove your cheese from the fridge at least 30 minutes before eating. Ideally, cheese should be consumed at room temperature for best results.
The cheese board
I always serve my cheeses on a natural, breathable material. It ensures your cheese is at its absolute best. I opted for this round timber board with a handle (perfect for moving it around!) A timber cutting board will also work a treat. And don’t forget the cheese knives. Include a different knife for each cheese.
The extra bits
These are the extra bits to turn this into the perfect cheese board. Crackers, always a minimum of two. I went with my favorite crackers, a black pepper lavosh, and homemade sourdough (not shown). Other great choices are water crackers, breadsticks, flatbread, and seeded crackers.
Whenever I’m serving goat’s cheese I love to include some honeycomb. It’s a total match and always looks the goods!
Seasonal fresh Fruit. Apples, pears, grapes, and figs are all good options. For this cheeseboard, I went with a single seasonal fruit. A bunch of fresh blackcurrants and a smear of balsamic fig jam to keep things simple. Dried muscatels are another great option. I finished with a mixture of seasoned nuts around the board. Nuts are always an easy way to fill gaps on a cheeseboard and bring the whole thing together!
Let’s crank this up a level
See that fresh goat’s cheese I used. Try pressing or sprinkling with fresh herbs (fresh dill always is a treat), fresh edible flowers, or dried flowers, as I did with these Salade de Fleurs. To press, pop some flowers into a small bowl and gently roll the cheese through the flowers. I love using these dried flowers on just about anything, but against the goat’s cheese, they just make the whole cheeseboard pop!
What do I serve my cheeseboard for two with?
A glass of wine is my go-to and a classic cheese pairing. However, white wine, red wine, Pimms, a glass of fizz… it’s whatever floats your (and your Valentine’s) boat! Cheese can be enjoyed with anything, so go nuts. Cocktail anyone?
Happy Valentines Day!
PS, Entertaining for more than two? Check out my post on how to create a cracking cheeseboard for a crowd