By: Jessica Lee
My favorite thing to eat at dinner parties are the appetizers. Particularly, picking at a charcuterie board. It is addicting and I always eat way too much, but it is so good! It’s also great because it has something for everyone, and it looks so pretty! Every party I go to, I volunteer to make one (mostly just because I want to eat it!).
A charcuterie board is originally a board filled with a variety of meats and cheeses. However, there are so many things you could add to it to make it suited to your party. Think about a variety of colors, flavors, and textures to add to your board. For your “board,” you could use a wooden tray, a cutting board, or even a plate. The board should be full, so don’t be afraid to pile things on top of each other and fill every centimeter of space.
Here are three different ways to make your charcuterie board a success.
Traditional Charcuterie Board
For family parties, I like to fill my board with a variety of meats and cheeses. Some popular meats include prosciutto, pepperoni, and salami. I don’t eat meat, and all of them kind of look the same to me, so I make sure to try to make them look different. You could roll the prosciutto around some mozzarella slices, or even fold salami in half, or in quarters and keep it together with a toothpick. Pile on cheeses in a variety of flavors. It is easiest if the cheese is already cut.
Vegetarian Charcuterie Board
Find several types of cheese to fulfill everyone’s tastes. A soft brie, cheddar slices, Colby jack cubes, and maybe even some mozzarella balls. Make sure to include a range from mild to sharp. Fill a small bowl with a cheese spread or spinach dip, surrounded by crackers or crostini. Pile any leftover space with fruit such as grapes and strawberries, or vegetables such as carrots and cherry tomatoes.
Vegan Charcuterie Board
A vegan platter is in no way less appealing. You can make a delicious board with no cheese or meat at all. Fill the platter with fruits, both fresh and dry – berries, grapes, pear and apple slices. Add a bowl of pickles, a bowl of olives, and a bowl of hummus. Choose a variety of crackers and pretzels. Add sliced cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. Fill every opening with different types of nuts.
The best part about a charcuterie board is that it can be a mix of anything. Any crackers, cheeses, dips, vegetables, or fruits can be piled together. Make sure you keep in mind a variety of flavors and textures – you don’t want everything on the plate to be soft. You also want a variety of colors – colorful berries, orange cheddar cheese, red tomatoes, and black olives. You can also buy pre-sliced fruit and cheese to make things even easier!
Your charcuterie board will be the hit of the party!