We've partnered with Cabot Creamery Co-operative to show you how to create a showstopping cheese board with enough flavors and textures to keep you happily snacking all evening. Owned by a co-op of farm families, Cabot is the world’s first dairy co-op to be B-corp certified, so we feel even better about including it on our boards. Here, Marissa Mullen—Food52's Resident Cheese Plater—put together a cheddar-y winter spread starring Cabot’s Deli Bars and a few pitch-perfect additions.
In winter, as the sun sets earlier and the temperatures drop, we want to feel cozy as we huddle up indoors. And a savory, luxurious cheese board can provide that sense of comfort we’re yearning for.
Picture it: robust and creamy cheeses blending beautifully with aged charcuterie and delectable accoutrements. You grab a glass of wine, plop down next to a fireplace, and snack your way to a perfect evening. Though we won't be gathering together much (or at all) over the holidays, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the season, cheese-wise.
Enter: the ultimate cold-weather cheese plate, which I’ve dubbed the “Winter Roast.”
To start, I built my board around some of my favorite Cabot Creamery Co-operative Deli Bars: 1-Year Cheddar, 3-Year Cheddar, and Cracked Peppercorn. Though they’re all made in a cheddar style, their distinct nuances set them apart: The 1-Year Cheddar is mild and creamy—a perfect base to build upon—whereas the 3-Year Cheddar has a sharper and more complex profile, standing up to stronger flavors like salty green olives. The Cracked Peppercorn has distinct notes of black, green, pink, and white pepper, which add a smoky kick that mixes up the flavor profile. Plus, every batch of Cabot products is tested by a team of "cheese graders," which sounds like a job I made up in a dream. (That explains why their cheddars keep winning awards.)
Instead of crudités or an abundance of crackers, I went with two types of roasted veggies: Brussels sprouts and baby potatoes. I tossed the sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted them in the oven. Once they were crispy, I drizzled on maple syrup and pomegranate seeds for a sweet kick. The Brussels paired beautifully with the Cracked Peppercorn Cheddar and prosciutto, offering a smoky-and-savory experience with a touch of sweetness.
The baby potatoes—roasted with olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper—paired excellently with the 1-Year Cheddar and cornichons. The mild notes of the cheddar matched the mildness of the potatoes, while the garlic and cornichons added a piquant tang to each bite.
Assembling your own “Winter Roast” cheese board? Here are other great pairings to include:
- 1-Year Cheddar with prosciutto and truffle honey: This was creamy with a hint of smoke and decadent sweetness.
- 3-Year Cheddar with salami and green olives: This pairing was bold, with savory notes and briny undertones.
- 3-Year Cheddar with peppadews on a slice of baguette: This bite was more complex, with sharpness meeting a vegetal sweetness.
- Cracked Peppercorn with roasted baby potatoes and truffle honey: This bite was smoky, sweet, garlicky, and super decadent. Highly recommended!
Before you set it out, give your cheese board a finishing touch—I garnished mine with sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary for a wintry pop of color. When serving your board, make sure you have enough utensils to go around; I typically put out tongs, forks, spoons, and cheese knives. Small dessert plates are a perfect personal canvas for each snacker to build their own cheese-plate creation from the bigger board.
With warm roasted veggies, rich charcuterie, and a lineup of sharp and tangy cheeses, this board will definitely be one of my go-tos this winter. Who needs to go outside, anyway?
In partnership with Cabot Creamery Co-operative, we’re sharing delicious ideas for using their Deli Bars as the base for a cheddar-filled winter cheese board. Alongside roasted veggies, charcuterie, and nuts, these cheeses are the just-right partner for a cozy night in. For this cheese board, we used Cabot’s 1-Year Cheddar, 3-Year Cheddar, and Cracked Peppercorn Deli Bars, but they’ve got a range of flavors to choose from—like Wildly Horseradish Cheddar, Smoky Bacon Cheddar, and Roasted Garlic Cheddar.