Charcuterie boards are the hot trend to any party or gathering these days. Follow these easy steps to create your own and “WOW” your family and friends.
Identify your purpose for the “board”: appetizer, snack, light meal, full meal, etc. Defining your purpose will also determine your cost. You may choose to spend a lot of money on fine expensive ingredients, go more casual, or buy in bulk. To make it more of a meal include bowls of hearty salads, pasta salads, different breads, and a variety of desserts. Set a budget and run with it. It can be done!
Apart from a traditional “wood board” you can use: Cake stands, upside down bowls serving trays, pizza stones and even random pieces of wood can all serve as wonderful foundations for charcuterie and food displays.
Decide on the space you want to use. This will depend on your purpose (see above). You could create your “board” on an entire countertop or island. You may also just use one board with some smaller serving dishes. I love making the display “pop” with different colors in the foods and serving dishes on the board. Bright reds (strawberries, cherries, tomatoes), bright greens (grapes, apple slices, herb garnish), etc. try to separate your colors with more bland items like crackers and bread.
Seasonal foods, veggies, and fruit could inspire your board, or even specific holiday themes. For example: a Holiday board could have sprinkles or cranberries, sprigs of thyme, and cut up oranges.
A Halloween board could include a bowl of small autumn mix candy and apples with caramel dip. You get the idea!
When creating a board for whatever occasion or season I like to include a variety of ingredients to hit all the buds: sweet, savory, earthy, spicy, salty, and tangy. I also like to include different textures: soft, crunchy, smooth, etc.
For example, when you consider cheese- include flavors and textures to appeal to various palettes. Mild, sharp, spicy, creamy, hard, etc.
Here is one example of a charcuterie board to give you a running start. Remember you can do anything and the sky’s the limit in creating charcuterie boards! Make it personal and your own.
Made with Amore,
Jam, Jellies, Spreads, Preserves
- 10 oz spreads and or jams fig spread, marionberry habanero pepper jelly, pesto, coarse ground mustard, apricot jam
Fresh Fruit and Crackers
- 16 oz grapes get at least two varieties
- 8 oz strawberries halved
- 3 oz blueberries
- 3 oz raspberries
- 12 oz crackers
Cheese and Meat
- 10 oz soft cheese fresh mozzarella, blue cheese, brie, etc.
- 10 oz semi-hard cheese sliced (Cheddar, Monterey, Gouda, Havarti, Provolone, etc.)
- 8 oz cured or smoked meats Columbus salame, Prosciutto, ham, etc.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
- 10 oz dried fruits dates, apricots, cherries, etc.
- 8 oz nuts raw almonds, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- fresh herbs to garnish mint, rosemary, basil, etc.
Pickles, Peppers, Olives Etc.
- 5 oz cornichons
- 5 oz stuffed olives
- Place all jams, preserves, mustards, or dips into small bowls or shallow dishes and place on the board.
- Add meats and cheese, placing larger items like sliced meats and blocks or slices of cheese on the board first.
- Add crackers and.or bread next, spacing them out on the board,.
- Fill in gaps on your board with fresh and/or dried fruit.
- Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Finish off by placing serving utensils in the cheeses and garnish with greenery
Recipe adapted from:
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