Have you wondered how to make a fabulous charcuterie board? It’s easy to do, and there are so many foods you could include to make yours. Make a charcuterie board to serve as a substantial appetizer, or even as a light meal.
What’s a charcuterie board? I’ve seen some funny stuff online where people say that a charcuterie board is basically a Lunchables. Well, sort of! If you’ve wondered how to make a fabulous charcuterie board (or just wondered what one was), you’ve come to the right place.
A charcuterie board is an assortment of cured meats and, in fact, in France, the charcuterie is actually the deli – you know – a place where you’d go to get cured meats! Charcuterie boards are one of my favorite meals (although they’re mostly served as an appetizer) because there are lots of goodies to choose from. I love when I can have a little bit of a lot of different things!
Prosciutto, soppressata, speck, hard sausage, and salami are types of cured meats. In the “olden days,” curing meat was a way to prepare it and preserve it for later use without having to refrigerate it.
These days, charcuterie boards are allll over the internet and have evolved from just a sampling of cured meats into a variety of many foods, like cheeses, nuts, fruit, spreads like hummus or jam, breads and crackers, olives, peppers, you name it.
Charcuterie boards are served as starters or as an appetizer, but you could easily turn one into a meal. In fact, my husband and I often make a meal out of modified charcuterie boards: We’ll include hummus, pita chips, a few cheeses, crunchy bread and a favorite jam, and maybe some olives or a vegetable like grilled asparagus.
You get the picture. A charcuterie board is loaded with lots of goodies that are easy to grab and enjoy, with each food located in a small section of a flat platter, or wooden or stone cutting board.
You may need to put out a few appetizer-sized knives for the spreadable cheeses, and a few small spoons for olives or jam. Grab some pretty napkins and small plates and you’ll be ready to go.
You do you with what you include on your charcuterie board, because there are always so many things to include. Check out a few tips to make yours hearty and pleasant.
How to Make a Fabulous Charcuterie Board
- Include two-to-four types of cured meat. I love prosciutto and salami.
- Add several types of cheese. Use a mix of spreadable cheese like Brie, and also hard cheese like white cheddar.
- Fan out a few different types of crunchy crackers.
- Add a variety of nuts like pistachios, cashews, or almonds.
- Pile on a little fruit, like grapes, apple slices, berries, dried apricots, and at the holidays, pomegranate – it’s so festive! Beware the pomegranate’s crimson arils – they’ll definitely stain your clothes (or carpet).
- Include Italian-style or French bread along with your favorite jam (we were out of both our Trader Joe’s grapefruit marmalade AND our cherry jam).
- Spoon your favorite spread like hummus or another dip into small bowls along with a few small spoons.
- Stack up some veggies like roasted red peppers, olives, cucumber slices, or carrots.
Add a variety of flavors and colors to your board. Include foods that are sweet, salty, crunchy, and smooth.
For more appetizer recipes, check out the following:
Not only is a charcuterie board wonderful for gatherings and special occasions, but it’s a great option to serve when you don’t have a specific meal to make for lunch or dinner, but you do need to clean out your fridge and pantry. Think of the half-empty cracker boxes, the cheese that’s in the fridge, and the fresh fruit you want to eat before it goes bad.
I’ll be staying in this New Year’s Eve, how about you? A charcuterie board is the perfect option for snacking on while playing games or watching movies. Let me know if you try one!