Spanish Cheese Board- Tabla de Quesos

A serious favorite of Spaniards everywhere is a good cheese board, Spain’s version of the French charcuterie board. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy Spain’s many incredible Spanish cheeses, superior cured jamon (ham) and embutidos (cured salamis and sausages) as well as all kinds of nuts, olives, marinated vegetables, and dips. Perfect for a cocktail party, as dinner, or with a nice wine in the afternoon. A well balanced cheese board also makes for a beautiful focal point of a tapas party along with small plates of tasty warm Spanish foods.

Spanish Cheese Board- Tabla de Quesos

These boards are as beautiful and impressive as they are delicious, but they certainly don’t have to be complicated. With the right accompaniments and a modest attention to detail, you can create a board that both impresses your guests and just might convince you that Spain has the whole salty-sweet snacking thing figured out.
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Course: Brunch, Hand Food, Tapas
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • 1-2 large cheese boards
  • Small bowls

Ingredients

Cheese Board Overview

  • 3-5 Spanish cheeses in a range of styles (soft to creamy to aged and different sources like goat, sheep, and cow).
  • 2-3 Dried-cured meats like chorizo sausage and jamon (ham) Serrano or Iberico
  • 2 Sweet note for spreading on crackers or a slice of crusty bread under cheese. Membrillo (sweet quince preserve) and/or honey.
  • 1 Nuts – there's only one nut here; Spain's famous Marcona Almonds, pan roasted, thick and toasty.
  • 3 Salty and piquant side bowls of Spanish Manzanilla olive and marinated vegetables and peppers.
  • 2 Breads – Both crusty breads and crackers are perfect for topping with slices of cheese or sausage.
  • 2 Fruit – seedless grapes, apple wedges, and dried apricot anhb color add both a fresh counter to the cheese and meat as well as color. Dates stuffed with blue cheese are a great addition.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Manchego cheese (sheep's milk aged 3, 6 or 12 months)
  • 8 oz Mahon cheese (soft cow's milk)
  • 8 oz Navara cheese (sheep's milk, hard and intense)
  • 8 oz Drunken Goat cheese (semi-hard goat's cheese)
  • 8 oz Cabrales cheese (creamy blue cheese)
  • 7 oz Dry cured chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 7 oz Salchichon salami, sliced
  • 4 oz Lomo Iberico, sliced
  • 6 oz Jamon Serrano or Iberico, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz Spanish stuffed or mixed olives
  • 8 whole Fresh dates, pitted
  • 1 cup Marcona olives
  • ¼ cup Quince preserves (Sub: honey)
  • ½ cup Pickled peppers and/or honey
  • 2 Crusty baguettes
  • 8 oz Stiff crackers

Instructions

  • Slit dates open and slip a little Cabrales cheese into the slit. On a really big cheese board, layout everything as you'd like, starting with the cheeses. Separate meats from the cheese as a courtesy for non-meat eaters. Cut hard cheeses into thin triangles. Keep quince preserves or honey and stuffed dates near cheese. Place small bowls of marinated vegetables, almonds, and any dips on or near the board. Keep baskets of sliced breads and crackers near the board and some sprinkled on the board. Decorate with grapes and/or apple slices around the cheeses and meats.

Notes

  • Bring cheese to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Separate and fluff up packaged meats so dinners don’t have to separate them themselves.
  • Trim grapes into small clusters.
  • Have plenty of knives, forks, and spoons around for slicing cheeses and scooping up vegetables and cold cuts.   
  • Don’t forget to pair with a sturdy Spanish wine.

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