What’s more satisfying than a plate of cured meats and artisanal cheeses at your holiday gathering? Answer: Nothing, except a glass of wine or hot toddy. Don’t know how to make a charcuterie board? Here are some pointers for the perfect holiday spread.
Find a Serving Board or Tray
Think of this as the base layer of your board. Any cutting board or serving platter will do. But if you really want to nail it for that Instagram closeup (and you know you do), go with something a little more rustic-chic like this large acacia wood charcuterie and cheese serving board from World Market. Or Prime that crap and get this fancy Amazon bamboo serving tray delivered to your door. It even comes with cheese markers so people know what they’re eating. Just be prepared to get made fun of for owning cheese markers.
Sticks and Jerky!
Really, there’s nothing more delicious than a sampling of cured meats all fanned out for the taking. Try a meat platter that features a variety of salami, uncured pepperoni, prosciutto, soppressata, Spanish chorizo, coppa, or any other cured meat that sounds exotic but isn’t really. Also jerky. Don’t forget to add Rosemary Turkey Sticks for an unexpectedly delicious flavor profile.
All the Cheese
How do you like your cheese? Hard and nutty? Soft and creamy? Most people like some combo of both. So, depending on the size of your cheese board, aim for four to six different types. You can’t go wrong with blue cheese, brie, goat cheese, soft farm cheese, mozzarella, and manchego.
Add Some Fixins
That’s just a fancy way of saying “all that other stuff.” Throw on some sweet peppers, a small bowl of hummus, or a spinach and artichoke dip, olives, nuts, and a delicious jam-like cherry or fig. You might also love adding fruit to the meal - strawberries, grapes, and blackberries add rich color to your board. Oh, and don’t forget the crackers. You can always put those on the side if needed, or slice up a baguette.
Make It Instagram-able
So you have all the charcuterie stuff that goes on your board. Now it’s time to arrange it. Layer your meats, cheeses, and extras. Add height with a pretty glass bowl full of jam or olives. Embellish the whole thing with sprigs of herbs to make it look pulled together.
How about that? You’re going to fa-la-la-la-wow your loved ones with a charcuterie board made from the heart. Now pop open a bottle of wine or bubbly and practice saying the word “charcuterie” (shahr-ku-tuh-ree) so you really sound like you know what you’re doing.
Still not sure what meats to include? Check out our many flavors that will excite and delight for the holidays and anytime of year.