Charcuterie boards are showing up everywhere at every occasion. It’s the essence of easy entertaining.
Piled high with cured meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, nuts and more, your guests will be wowed by this gorgeous and delicious spread. This counts as a favorite appetizer for a party.
It’s easy to prepare and there is no end to the possible variations. Switching up a few ingredients yields something new and amazing each and every time.
Where to begin?
Grab your board! Charcuterie boards can be as big or as small as you want them to be. They could be rectangular or circular. Bigger ones require more ingredients to make it look full and complete.
From a simple date night to a fancy dinner party, they are ideal for any occasion.
You don’t need to buy a special board. Use a wood cutting board, slate board, serving tray, etc. Any flat surface you have will do.
Adding texture and color
When selecting items, make sure to choose some that will pop and stand out on your boards.
There may be too many browns on the board which will make the board look dull and bland. Go for a lot of bright reds (strawberries, tomatoes) and bright greens (green apples, grapes, herbs).
Make sure to evenly spread out the colors and have items of different textures such as nuts, jams and spreads.
Assembling the board
Start with bowls. Your charcuterie board should include a variety of jams, preserves, mustards, or dips. Bowls are also great for mozzarella balls, olives and nuts.
Smaller the bowl, the better. Spread them out on your board.
They act as a base on your board when having to place the other items and since they are solid and sturdy, you can lean items such as crackers against them.
Meats and Cheese
Start placing all your favorites.
The possibilities for cheeses used are endless. You can use any type of soft cheese, hard cheese or crumbly cheese. For a softer and crumbly cheese, keep the block whole and slice any cheese that’s harder and is able to be cut into slices. Also, keep a set of serving knives so that guests can really dig in and help themselves.
Place larger items like sliced meats and blocks or slices of cheese on the board first. Here is a list of meats and cheese you could add.
Cheese – Brie cheese, Cheddar, Blue cheese, Smoked Gouda, Halloumi, Burrata, Feta, Buffalo Mozzarella.
Meats – Salami, Prosciutto, Pepperoni, Types of Ham, Turkey slices, Sausages, Meatballs.
Crackers and bread
You will want to add crackers and/or bread to your charcuterie board. Super important. This is a critical building block when your guests start to layer all the flavors.
Here are some options – Baguettes, Bread Sticks, Types of bread, Nacho chips, Crackers.
Fruits and Garnish
Fill in gaps on your board with fresh fruits, dried fruit, vegetables and nuts. Here is a list.
Nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashew, pistachios), Sliced veges (cucumber, carrots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes), Fresh fruit (grapes, oranges, apples, strawberries, pomegranates, guava, dragonfruit), Dried fruit (apricots, prunes, raisins, cherries or cranberries), Olives, Mini Pickles and Favorite dips (fruit jams, hummus, honey).
Add some fresh herbs for garnish such as thyme, and you’re done! Enjoy it with a glass of wine and with your favorite people.
You can always change it up according to your preference (meaty, vegan or even a sweet board).