Build the Ultimate Holiday Charcuterie Board
What the heck is a charcuterie board you say?
The word, ‘charcuterie’ (pronounced: SHAR-CUTE-ER-REE”) simply means “pork butcher’s shop” in French, and a charcuterie board is really just a fancy term for a meat and cheese platter. Consisting of a curated selection of cured meats, several kinds of cheese, and an accompaniment of fruits, nuts, spreads, crackers, and bread, charcuterie boards are an easy way to impress and entertain your guests this holiday season.
Whether providing family and friends with a light bite before dinner or serving with drinks at a cocktail party, this simple-to-assemble spread offers something for everyone.
Read ahead for my tips to build the ultimate holiday charcuterie board.
Charcuterie boards do better without the ‘board.’
Wood boards are pretty but aren’t very practical. A large, rimmed baking sheet can be moved to where guests congregate – and they keep contents contained! A standard aluminum baking sheet works fine, but your spread will look ultra festive on a colorful enamelware pan.
The stars of the charcuterie board are the cured meats! Slice a few good quality, cured Italian meats such as salami, pepperoni, and prosciutto. A smoked sausage or kielbasa would be good too! Aim for 2-3 ounces of meat per person.
More Cheese Please!
Cheeses are a charcuterie board staple so don’t skimp on the good stuff! Offer at least three in a variety of flavors and textures. Choose from an aged (cheddar), soft (spreadable goat), firm (Manchego, Pecorino Romano) and blue (Gorgonzola) and different milks including cow, goat, and sheep.
GET ARTSY WITH ACCOMPANIMENTS
Mild vegetables such as cucumbers and yellow bell peppers add a bright freshness – and such pretty color – to the platter!
Balance the salt in the meat and cheese with sweet flavors from fresh and dried fruits including grapes, raspberries, blackberries, figs, and dried apricots.
A simple sliced baguette and gluten-free flax or sesame crackers offer that wholesome crunch for those with and without wheat allergies.
A few small dipping bowls are perfect for “wet” ingredients like olives, and condiments such as mustards and preserves.
Taller cups are a pretty perch for green beans, snap peas or carrot sticks. Their height adds visual interest without taking up too much real estate on the platter.
There you have it – a simple, stunning, and delicious charcuterie board. Now download my infographic as a handy guide at the grocery store or feel free to contact me for more advice or if you’re interested in a personalized charcuterie board for your holiday party. I’d love to help you take the stress out of entertaining this season!