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How to Build an Epic Charcuterie Board


char·cu·te·rie

[noun]

cold cooked meats collectively

cheese·board

[noun]

a board on which cheese is served and cut

Whether you're pulling together an easy, at-home snack plate for two or have been volunteered to host your next family gathering, a simple and delicious charcuterie board can be the perfect snacking option.

The key to pulling together a simple snack board is turning the goodies you already have on-hand into a beautiful display. Make use of the items you already have in your pantry and refrigerator, even when they seem a little funky to put on display!

Here's how to put it together.

THE CHEESE

I change up my cheese selection almost every time I make a charcuterie board, but I always make it a rule of thumb to incorporate some hard, crumbly cheese in addition to a few softer cheese options.

My go-to cheese selection consists of the Sartori Bellavitano Merlot Cheese Wedge (hard) with a creamy Brie (soft). The combination makes it so you don't have too many similar cheese styles and confuse the flavors.

THE MEATS

I love to incorporate a healthy mix of dried meat options to a cheese board; Pairing a unique meat with different cheeses is half the fun! I love salami and prosciutto as a salty addition (Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami and Prosciutto di Parma from Trader Joe's are divine).

While I am not a summer sausage fan, that would be a great addition too!

SOME FRUIT

Feel like you're making your plate a bit healthier, and more colorful, by adding some fruit.

Grapes are a perfect accent to the cheeses on your board but I always resort to simply what we have on hand! Apple slices, dried mango, strawberries, you name it.

A LITTLE SOMETHING SWEET

A few pieces from a chocolate bar, candied pecans, even Girl Scout Cookies! Throw a little something sweet onto the board to give your palate more to explore.

When you have a soft cheese on your board (like brie) consider adding a fruit jam to the mix for a sweet and savory snack. We often opt for a fig jam to pair with brie on top of a cracker, but we recently snagged a blackberry balsamic jam from a local market and it was a delicious addition. ​​

ADD SOME TEXTURE

Outside of the essentials - cheese, meat, fruit - the rest of your tray is completely up to you.

  • Assorted olives (from your local marketplace salad bar)

  • Sweet peppers (from your local marketplace salad bar)

  • Nuts - pistachios, peanuts, roasted pecans

  • Crudite and your favorite dip (think carrots and hummus or chips and salsa)

  • Crackers (I love flavored rice crackers)

  • Popcorn

THE DISPLAY

Depending on the engagement, you can make the "board" as large or small as you'd like. Cheese board for two? Try a large dinner plate. Prepping for a gathering in your home? Pull out the platters or a pizza board.

Sprucing up a cheese board can be as simple as garnishing the tray with some fresh herbs (like a sprig of rosemary), throwing in some fresh fruit for color (like berries or apple slices), and playing with the height of the board by incorporating small bowls to keep dips and smaller finger-foods separated.

The skies the limit! Consider creating a theme with the board, like this Halloween board!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

​​


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© 2020 by KIRSTEN A. FRY

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