Who doesn’t love a charcuterie board? They have such a rustic simplicity yet make a classy and gourmet statement. You really can’t go wrong with this crowd pleasing finger food. Here are a few guidelines to put a charcuterie board together at home yourself!
First, keep in mind that quality is best over quantity. You don’t need to overload the board with heaping piles of meats and cheeses. It doesn’t make much of a statement having your average run of the mill Colby cheese and salami. Try choosing a few selections that you have never heard of or that you don’t see very often. Chances are your friends and family will enjoy trying something new! Ask your local deli to help you make your selections. You can also ask local restaurants or boutique wine bars if they can sell you cheeses and meats for your board. If you give them some notice, they can often place a special bulk order and give you a great price vs the grocery store.
Ideally, you want one selection from each of the four main cheese categories:
1. Aged -Aged cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego (my favorite!)
2. Blue – Gorgonzola, Blue
3. Firm – Comte, Gruyere, Pecorino Romano
4. Soft – Brie, Camembert, Chevre (goat cheese), Brinza
Have a hunter in the family? Break out the deer salami! You can’t get more southern
Fruit spread – cherry & apricot work well.
Stone ground mustard
Hummus or white bean dip
Stoneground wheat crackers
Gluten free/ seeded crackers
Oyster crackers (Idea: Google recipes for herbed oyster crackers)
Fruit – Try to keep it seasonal. Sliced apples or pears, grapes, figs, berries, pomegranate seeds, peaches and plums all work well with a charcuterie board.
Nuts – I prefer to use unsalted to balance out the saltiness of the rest of the board.
Olives / Pickles / Pickled Vegetables -Pickled peppers are a great way to add some heat!
Something creative – Have some fun! Why not add some roasted garlic cloves, dark chocolate or hazelnut spread? Don’t be afraid to try something not listed here. Food is art and you don’t have to follow any “rules”.
This is a long list! You can make your charcuterie board your own. It can be as a very simple selection or fill your table with multiple selections.
A wooden serving or cutting board(s) works great! These can be found in most big box stores, World Market and department stores. Another fun and cost effective option is to use a roll kraft/butcher paper. Roll the paper out onto the table and display the dry foods directly on the paper. Wet or oily foods can be placed in small bowls and dishes on the paper. Use a black sharpie to label the paper next to each food item. I’ve seen rolls of brown craft paper at Dollar Tree!