Learning how to make a Charcuterie Board isn't as hard as you think. I'll teach you my simple tip and tricks that will make a beautiful Charcuterie Board.
Raise your hand if you could just eat cheese and crackers for dinner and be totally fine? ME! Learning how to make a charcuterie board, big or small, is easier than you think!
This is one of Justin and I's all-time most favorite meals and to serve when we have people over to our home. A charcuterie board is perfect for an appetizer before a meal to munch on with drinks before the meal (or just make it a whole meal itself for a date night picnic night).
We have some sweet friends, TJ and Stephany, and 90% of the time we do dinner together is it just this. We call it a picnic night. We each bring a bottle of wine, some cheese, meat, fruit, and we are happy campers grazing for hours and hours. If there is ever any reason to have wine and cheese for dinner I am totally in!
Now charcuterie boards are beautiful and often look so elaborate and designed so well that you almost don't want to dig into it.
It looks very intimidating if you have never created one to even know even where to begin. They are beautifully styled and just have "come dig in and enjoy me" written all over it. However, this is not the case. Anyone can design a beautiful cheese board and it is 100% not as hard as it looks. Good with a creative eye or not, it's all about layering and building and anyone can learn that.
These are my couple key tips I use for buying ingredients for a charcuterie board:
(for this posts purpose, this will serve 4-8. Add or subtract depending on your party size)
- Start with the cheese. Buy 4 different types of cheese. Start with your most favorite, then pick a cheese that is the opposite texture and taste from that. For example, I will start with a soft, mild and fruity blueberry goat cheese. Then I will choose a sharp, hard parmesan & cheddar type of cheese. The goal is to get all different flavors. So start with a soft cheese then pick a hard cheese. Next, pick a cheese with a bold flavor (chipotle cheddar), then one that is milder (manchego). Just start with your favorite cheese and build from there.
- Choose the meats. 2-3 different types of hard meats are perfect. Prosciutto, salami, chorizo, etc. You can find all of the selections at your grocery deli or my favorite thing to do is, go to the prepared specialty meat aisle and there is usually a variety pack of all different types of these. Choose one and you're done!
- Choose your fruit. Pick 2-3 fruits that can be out in room temp for a while with no significant "wilting" issue. Grapes and apples are always a must for us. Figs are in season right now and 100% the best fruit to have on a cheese board.
- Choose your carbs. Go with 2 different types of crackers or one cracker and one loaf of bread. A baguette or soft sourdough is delicious. Any season specially loafs at the bakery go great as well. For crackers, water crackers are a must. Then choose a fun flavored cracker to pair with the rest of the board (like these fig crackers)
- Nuts & Spreads. To round it all out add some nuts, dips/spreads, olives, etc. We are filling in holes now and rounding out the flavors. I like a nut for a crunchy salty addition. A fig spread is perfect with the cheese and meat on a piece of bread. If you love olives they add a great soft texture and saltiness to the board. Cream cheese with a pepper jelly is always a crowd favorite. Be creative with what your favorite flavors are!
If you have an assortment of those 5 key components then you will have a perfect board.
The biggest thing to remember when picking everything out is that you want a well-rounded board for both flavors and textures.
If you pick a spicy cheese make the next selection milder in flavor. If you have a crunchy element, make sure there is something soft to contrast. If you have bold meat pair it with soft cheese. If you have a sweet spread, make sure you have a salty cracker.
You get the gist.
You want to hit all the notes: bold, spicy, soft, mellow, sweet, spicy, salty, crunchy, etc. If you have 1 of everything on that board then you have built something perfect to everyone's taste.
There is no specific recipe, which is the beauty of this. You choose what you like and build from there. It can be different every time, change with the seasons, be themed, or just stay the same. It is totally up to you and your creative flavor palette. There are no rules!
How Do I Arrange a Charcuterie Board to Make it Look Beautiful?
The next biggest hurdle is, "how do I arrange it?" and probably the scariest part for most. I have made a full step-by-step video of how I like to build and design my boards that you can watch here. It is not as hard as you think!
So there you have it! One of my most favorite meals of all time, which I usually serve as an appetizer when we have people over, and a classic favorite that you now know how to make! This is a crowd-pleaser because almost everyone can find something that they like on a charcuterie board.
Pair a Charcuterie Board with Your Favorite Wine and Spend Time Around the Table with the People You Love.
All photographs in this post were taken by Jennifer Edlin Photography
Can I Make This Ahead of Time?
This can be made a couple of hours beforehand and is fuss-free for when your guests arrive. It makes it perfect to not have to be cooking while you could be hanging out and visiting with your friends and family.
So invite your TJ and Stephany over, pour the wine, sit around the table and show them how you made your own charcuterie board, and let the night carry you away!
Tag me in all your #cometothetable and #fuelingasouthernsoul on Instagram. I can't wait to share with you next week's recipe! Be sure to watch this video below as well for an in-depth talk of how I buy and style my board.
Don't Have the Items to Display a Beautiful Spread?
You don't need anything fancy and just use what you have.
Place some parchment paper on your counter and build it there. Home Goods always has a great selection of boards, wine glasses, cocktail napkins, etc.
As always, Amazon has a great selection of things too.
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