Steps to building the perfect charcuterie board
Wow your friends and family or add finesse to a Friday night Netfilx with a gorgeous (and delicious) charcuterie board. These instagrammable displays of meat, cheese and other snacks are a cinch to pull together and can be easily customized to suit both the occasion and your taste. Whether you are looking to pull together a quick afternoon snack or a hearty picturesque platter for a dinner party, you’re sure to impress by following these easy steps to make your perfect charcuterie board.
First, set the stage for your cheese and meat masterpiece with an attractive board. If you don’t have a designated charcuterie board on hand, simply use a stylish cutting board, wooden serving tray or even a fancy kitchen plate to lay out your spread.
Next, have fun curating a selection of your favorite snacks to display on your board. Customize your board with a mix of sweet and savory treats that will satisfy both you and your guests. A traditional charcuterie board usually consists of the following components:
- Cured meats
- Crackers or sliced bread
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Jam and other spreads
- Olives or pickles
The backbone of a typical charcuterie board is a selection of cheese and meats. Start by picking out at least three cheeses for your board. Adding a variety of cheese wedges with contrasting textures such as a hard cheese like aged gouda or cheddar, a soft cheese like brie and a blue cheese is sure to satisfy every guest. You can also consider adding a vegan cheese for friends that are lactose-intolerant or follow a plant-based diet. Make sure to add cheese knives so guests can serve themselves.
Next, add a few thinly sliced cured meats such as prosciutto, ham and pancetta to your board. Arrange them in loose rolls or lay them flat on the board for easy access. You can also add some fresh veggies such as bell pepper slices, baby tomatoes, olives and tiny pickles for a healthy (or salty) touch.
Everyone loves carbs, so you’ll want to make sure you have some small stacks of crackers, breadsticks or baguette slices that your guests can top with their favorite cheeses and meats. You can add some gluten-friendly options such as gluten free breads or crackers for friends with special dietary needs.
Finish your board with tiny dishes of nuts, dried or fresh fruits, and jams or spreads. A mix of sweet spreads such as your favorite jam, apple butter or local honey and savory spreads such as pesto, mustard or tapenades will be sure to please any crowd. If you want to make your charcuterie board into a hearty meal, feel free to add deviled eggs, tiny sausages or other finger foods. Garnish your board with fresh herbs for a tasty finishing touch.
Also, if you want someone to do the work for you, you can find packs of pre-packaged meats and cheese that you can simply pop open and arrange on a plate. However you choose to make it, you’ll find that charcuterie is a fun and easy way to upgrade any evening.