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How to Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board

How to Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board
If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I am very, very, VERY fond of charcuterie boards. I think they are so fun to make and great for a variety of occasions (dinner included!). They do particularly well in a group setting because you can satisfy a variety of taste-buds by using a combination of ingredients PLUS if you follow my tips below you can turn it into the talk of the party by creating an edible work of art!

Here are four of my top tips for building the perfect board and some of my own creations to serve as inspiration!

megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

1. Get the right base:

Just like Meghan Trainor said, it’s all about that base 😉 I am fully known for showing up to gatherings with my (fairly heavy) marble board. But what can I say! It makes the perfect base for the ultimate party charcuterie. While I am not suggesting you go out and buy a twenty pound board, here’s my advice:
  • You need a large, flat surface – like a cutting board – it might seem like a large space to fill but once you get started, the ingredients pile up!
  • Aesthetically, I love the look of white marble or wood – here are a couple I found online: HomeSense, Indigo, Williams Sonoma, Hudson’s Bay
  • Unlike me, try to get a board that is somewhat light and portable – if I am bringing charcuterie to a gathering I always prep my ingredients in advance and then assemble at the party

 

megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

2. No-fail ingredients

One of the reasons charcuterie boards are so easy is because you can seriously mix them up with any ingredient. But I definitely have a few go-tos that I depend on to make my board epic. If you are looking for a place to start, take this list to the grocery store:

  • Cheese – I usually like to have at least two types of cheese on my board – I find Brie to pretty palette friendly and Boursin generally DOES NOT disappoint. Think about the other ingredients going on your board and how people can pair up the cheese with these items. For example salami and cheese or crackers and cheese.  You can also try cheddar, goat cheese, Gouda, or blue cheese.
  • Meats – One of my favorite parts of the board! (But don’t worry I have a vegetarian-friendly option below for my vegetarian friends!)  My go-tos are usually prosciutto, sopressata and Genoa. I usually ask for thin slices so that I can either lay them out or form organized piles. Prosciutto I’ll sometimes roll up into mini logs.
  • Crackers – because what other vehicle are you going to use to get the meat and cheese in your mouth, HA! Triscuits forever have a place in my heart, but I also really love Raincoast crackers and food should taste good. Go with your preference, but I always think these are necessary for a crunch factor!
  • Hummus – I am a personal sucker for any kind of hummus or dip. They always make their way onto my boards. Go to choices are a classic hummus (if you are up to it, try a homemade recipe! I love What’s Gaby Cooking’s recipe), Beet hummus (love the pop of color it adds and the flavor is on points), and my new found love: Summer Fresh Edamame, Jalapeno Cilantro hummus
  • Fruit – I usually add some type of berry to sweeten up the board – plus they add another pop of colour

 

megs cucina charcuterie board

Other ingredients to try on your charcuterie board:

If you are a rookie charcuterie boarder, start with the list above and then keep getting a little more wild. When you are ready for it try the following:

  • apricots
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • olives
  • pickled eggplants
  • nuts
  • sliced veggies
  • peaches
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • roasted red peppers
  • figs
  • bruschetta
  • pita
  • baba ganoush

megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

3. Make it a theme

If you are making a charcuterie for a specific holiday or maybe for a crowd with particular taste, you can always pick a theme for your board. One of my all time favorite boards I’ve made it the vegetarian friendly one below – I absolutely loved how colorful it was! While meats won’t be making their way onto this board, you CAN find vegan cheese. This board uses Zengarry Smokey Jalapeno which was awesome.

megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

Other themes ideas:

Strictly meat and cheese (choose 4 meats and 4 types of cheese that pair well together)
Cheese lovers (feature 5-6 selections of cheese compliment them with crackers and fruit)
Mediterranean theme (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, sliced cucumbers, Tzatziki, pita, roasted red peppers)
Start with a focal point

4. Start with a focal point

The last thing you need to know to master the charcuterie board is how to assembly. I generally start with one focal point (usually hummus or a wheel of brie) and then build patterns around it. You can organize ingredients in lines, piles or stacks. You don’t even need to follow a specific pattern to create a work of art.
megs cucina how to make charcuterie board

Ready to start building your first charcuterie board? Tag me on social to show me how it turns out!



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