No matter the occasion, charcuterie boards make the perfect party platters. Not only are they easy to create, they are a simple way to make a stunning party centerpiece. Best of all, these deli platters usually include something that appeals to every guest’s tastes. Size your charcuterie plate to accommodate all of your guests, from just a few to many more!
Does the thought of creating your own charcuterie platter feel overwhelming? Don’t worry, here are five simple steps (and a shopping list!) to create your own charcuterie board.
Charcuterie Board Shopping List
CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITES – no need to include them all
- Cured Meats
- Hard & Soft Cheeses
- Mediterranean Olives, Pickled Vegetables, and Sundried Tomatoes
- Plain and/or Candied Nuts
- Dried Fruit
- Fresh Berries
- Red or Green Grapes
- Sweet and Savory Crackers or Baguette Bread
- Jellies and Jams
- Gourmet Spreads, Oils & Dipping Spices
Sending a gift? These meat & cheese gift baskets make the perfect gift!
Create Your Own Charcuterie Board
Step by Step Instructions
Choose A Base
Live edge wood boards, cutting boards, pottery plates, slates and more have all been used as the base plate of charcuterie platters. Be creative with your choice, but consider the number of guests you are serving. The larger the party, the bigger the charcuterie tray should be. If serving more than 50 guests, more than one charcuterie platter should be considered. Have fun with the ingredients by choosing sweet and savory flavors, vary each platter with different themed foods (ie: meat lover & vegetarian)!
Arrange Crackers, Breads, Nuts and Dried Fruits
Crackers and breads tend to take up the most space on the board, so it is wise to arrange them first. Fan crackers and breads to make them easier to pick-up. Impress your most discerning guests by brushing thin Italian bread slices with olive oil and seasonings and bake until crisp. Arrange on charcuterie board leaving space in-between crackers and bread for cured meats, spreads, dried fruits (mission figs, apricots, cranberries, and sun dried pears are a few options) and more. Include grapes for flavor, color and texture. Add a little heat and vibrant orange color to the board with thin sliced strips of Trader Joe’s Chile Spiced Dried Mango.
Include Your Favorite Spreads
There are a plethora of spreads and condiments that can be included when you create your own charcuterie platter. For jams and jellies, consider a versatile fig jam. During cold winter months, a spiced plum jam makes the perfect seasonal selection. In the summer, a fresh cherry jam is a delightful seasonal option. Serve pepper jelly over cream cheese and apricot jam over velvety French brie. Mixed berry or Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam preserves are also crowd favorites. Scoop jams and jellies into small pottery, glass or other low profile bowls to enhance your charcuterie presentation. For vegetarian guests, hummus is always a safe and popular choice. Mustards add color and flavor. The three basic types of mustard are white (mild), brown (spicier) and black (spiciest). Choose three of your favorites or include these three popular pairings: pair yellow mustard with ham, dijon with Italian sausage, and beef with garlic mustard. Other great spreads include chicken or duck liver Pâté, vegetable terrines, or pork rillettes (also known as brown jam).
Add Cured Meats and Cheese
Most cured meat options are perfect for charcuterie boards. Traditional Italian Salumi products like: beef or pork summer sausage, garlic sausage, pepperoni, soppressata, and mortadella. Thin sliced Italian hams like capicola or prosciutto. From Spain: jamón ibérico de bellota (cured ham), spicy chorizo sausage, salchichón and lomo are all popular choices. For cheese, include a mix of hard & soft cheeses on your platter. A wheel of warmed brie, sharp cheddar cheese, monterey jack jalapeño cheese, blue cheese, spicy cheddar, veggie or smoked gouda are all popular choices.
Finish With Olives, Pickled vegetables and more!
Complete the platter with sun dried tomatoes, pickled vegetables, artichoke hearts, peperoncino, a caprese salad, grilled stone fruits (fresh gilled peaches taste amazing!) and more. One more thing, don’t forget to include serving utensils!
The beauty of charcuterie comes from the various colors of meats, cheeses, fruit, spreads, nuts and more. Place each food in its own pile or section of the platter. Fill the majority of the tray to ensure your charcuterie board will look like a culinary masterpiece. Have fun assembling your platter, and know your guests will appreciate your culinary efforts.
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