The Perfect Charcuterie Board can be the easiest addition to your holiday party. Learn how to assemble one of your own for effortless entertaining.
This week has been all about appetizers and easy holiday entertaining. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite appetizers that I put together when entertaining. A charcuterie platter is one of my go-to’s for two reasons. first, because it’s so versatile and second because it takes minimal effort. Also, It’s good for cocktail parties, pre-dinner snacks, and it can even be fun for a light lunch or brunch.
What Goes on a Charcuterie Board
There are no hard and fast rules about what goes on “The Perfect Charcuterie Board” and that’s what I love about it. You can be creative and customize it to exactly what you and your guests like. In addition to guest preference, pairing items with the other dishes you are serving can bring all the flavors together. Typically this is what a charcuterie board will include:
- Assorted Cheese
- Cured Meats
- Dried and/or Fresh Fruit
- Fresh, Roasted and/or Preserved Vegetables (Try my Roasted Grapes & Olives recipe)
- Sliced bread and/or crackers (Try my Parmesan Rosemary Crackers recipe)
When serving a charcuterie board, don’t feel like you need some big fancy platter to serve everything on. Use what you have on hand and don’t be afraid to mix and match things. You just need a large surface, such as a cutting board, a serving platter, or a collection of different trays put together in a row.
How to Assemble the Perfect Charcuterie Board
- Start with a large board or platter which will serve as the base of your platter. If the base isn’t a food-safe surface, you can place a piece of parchment paper on it. You can also use parchment as a decoration as I have done. You will also need two smaller platters or bowls for crackers and anything that has a liquid in it. Things like chutney or olives will have a lot of liquid so you’ll want them in their own containers. Place those trays in opposite corners of the board and place your crackers or bread in one of them.
- You will then arrange your cheese on the board. Place the cheese wedges or logs in the open spaces. Don’t worry about putting them in the perfect spot, just make sure they are spread out on the board.
- Then, cut your fresh fruit into think slices if necessary and place it next to the pieces of cheese. You can put each type of fruit in one spot or you can divide them up into multiple spots.
- Next, comes the meat! I like to have a couple of cured meats, one spicy and one not. I will have them thinly sliced at the deli counter, one less thing to do! To make them look nice and for an easy grab, fold the slices into quarters. Once you do that, you can tuck the folded slices into little piles around the cheese and fruit.
- Lastly, fill in any of the empty spots with your dried fruit and nuts. You may have to do some adjustment of the cheeses or trays to get everything fitting just right. Don’t forget to put your olives or chutney in the last container. Once everything is put together, just make sure everything is easily accessible and then you are good to go!
The Perfect Charcuterie Board
- ¼ lb hard sheep's milk cheese, ossau-iraty or pecorino romano
- ½ lb soft creamy cheese, brie or camembert
- ⅓ lb aged semi-soft cheese, cheddar or gouda
- ⅓ lb soft of semi-soft goat cheese, drunken goat or chevre
- ¼ lb hot cappicola, thinly sliced
- ¼ lb italian dry salami, thinly sliced
- dried fruit, apricots, figs or cherries
- fresh fruit, pears, apples or grapes
- salted nuts, almonds or pistachios
- brined olives or fruit chutney, ***See Roasted Grapes & Olives recipe***
- assorted herb or cheese crackers or sliced bread, ***See Parmesan Rosemary Crackers recipe***
- fresh herbs for garnish, optional
- To begin assembling your charcuterie board, layout a large platter or cutting board for the base of your board. If the surface or your platter is not food safe, top with a piece of parchment paper.
- On the large board or platter, place two smaller trays or containers at opposite corners of the board. Fill one of them with your crackers and/or bread and the other will be for the olives or chutney.
- Next, arrange your cheese wedges and/or logs around the empty spaces on the board so they are spread out and not all in one place.
- Thinly slice fresh fruit and arrange sliced fruit next to the pieces of cheese.
- Take sliced deli meat and fold into quarters. Tuck the folded pieces of meat between the fruit and cheese or between the pieces of cheese and the trays for the crackers and olives.
- Fill in any remaining spaces left on the tray with dried fruit and/or nuts. Nuts can be placed directly on the tray or in a smaller bowl or serving dish that is then placed on the tray.
- Lastly, add olives or chutney to the last small serving platter or bowl and garnish the tray with fresh herbs if desired. Once everything has been placed on the tray, adjustments can be made to make sure there are no empty spaces and that people can access all items easily.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @SaporitoKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #SaporitoKitchen
Now that you know exactly How to Assemble the Perfect Charcuterie Board, you can start planning yours for the holidays! Stay tuned next week for more holiday recipes.