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How to make a Charcuterie Board– the perfect appetizer for special gatherings and events. Easy, beautiful and impressive!
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. ~ Helen Keller
One of the easiest appetizers to put together when entertaining is a Charcuterie Board- a beautiful board or platter composed of cured meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, spreads and crackers.
In our catering business, no exaggeration; we assembled thousands! Here are a few simple tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to create the most beautiful charcuterie boards your guests will love!
How to make a Charcuterie Board | 60-sec Video
Components of a Charcuterie Board
- Charcuterie. Pick 3-6 different varieties of sliced charcuterie: Bresola, Genoa Salami, prosciutto, Sopressa, Mortadella, Coppa, Jamon ZIberico, Rillettes, Liver Mousse or Pate. Plan on 2 ounces per person for an appetizer portion if serving with other things. If this is the only thing you are serving, then double.
- Cheese. Pick 2-5 different varieties, choosing both soft and hard varieties. Plan on 2 ounces per person.
- Crackers or bread. Pick 2-3 varieties. Seeded crackers, a gluten-free cracker and a sliced baguette makes an excellent selection.
- Fruit. Pick 2 varieties. Apples, grapes or pears (or something seasonal), along with fresh berries- blackberries, raspberries, or pomegranate seeds.
- Nuts. Include one variety of nut, like Marcona Almonds, or make these Maple Pecans.
- Olives. Include 1-3 varieties of olives in different colors and sizes, like castlevetrono, kalamata and nicoise.
- Optional additions: Honey, mustard, fig jam, something pickled (asparagus, green beans, peppers or onions) extra large capers, tinned fish, and fresh herbs for garnishing.
How to create a beautiful Charcuterie Board
When creating a Charcuterie Board, think about creating contrasting textures. Creamy luscious pate alongside crisp pears or apples, soft cheeses and hard cheeses, crunchy cornichons, crisp nuts, seedy mustards and crsipy crackers- all provide contrasting textures, which gives a board personality.
2. contrast in Flavors.
When it comes to flavors, try to hit all the notes. Add jams, fruit or dates for sweetness, fresh berries or pomegranate for tartness, salty umami flavors like olives, mustards, and pickled things. All of these flavor components make a board interesting.
3. Color Palette and mood.
Consider colors. Pick a complimentary palate, perhaps choosing a them.
Here above we have blues and purples.
Or try warmer colors….
Consider adding pops of color and greenery. In a pinch, you can even use houseplants! (Above, I used my ficus!)
How to assemble a Charcuterie Board:
- Start with a beautiful cutting board or large platter, as the foundation.
- First, place little bowls filled with olives, or little jars filled with honey, jam or mustard.
- Working around the bowls, layer the charcuterie, then the cheese, then the fruit. If there is room for crackers, tuck them in or serve them on the side in a basket lined with linen.
- Have fun with it, play around, and allow yourself to be creative, not overthinking.
- Tuck in winter greenery, fall leaves or rosemary for color.
- Think of it as a horizontal painting. 🙂 Your masterpiece!
Most of all- just have fun with this!
On the homefront: Winter solstice comes round again, the darkest day of the year. Let it be an occasion to look deeply at small things, to feel grounded in the earth with its seasons and cycles and to practice acceptance toward both the darkness and the light.
A beautiful way to embrace the darkness is to celebrate it with friends. Light a candle, get cozy, pour some mulled wine and invite your friends over to enjoy the spirit of the season.
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- 25 Best Appetizer Recipes
- Prep Time: 30
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: appetizer
- Method: Assembly
- Cuisine: French
How to make a Charcuterie Board– the perfect appetizer for holiday dinners, gatherings and events. Easy, beautiful and impressive!
- 1 lb charcuterie – 3-6 different charcuteries
- 1 lb cheese (soft, med, hard)
- 1 cup nuts- Marcona almonds or maple pecans
- 2-3 fruits- grapes, apples, pears , figs, pomegranates, or berries (about 3 cups)
- 24 ounces crackers ( a selection of crackers and baguette)
- Optional additions: honey, mustard, jam or preserves, large capers or cornichons, pickled peppers or veggies
- fresh herb sprigs (sage, rosemary, thyme) leaves, or greenery for tucking in.
- Begin by lighting candles. Play some music. Relax and take your time and enjoy this fun creative process.
- Using a extra large cutting board or platter, place bowls and jars in place where the olives, jam, mustard, nuts and pickled things will go. Fill those first.
- Next tuck in the charcuterie and cheeses around the bowls.
- Tuck in the fruit, and finish with the herbs, tucking in and filling in the space. If there is any more room for the crackers, add them too, otherwise, place them in a bowl or basket on the side.
- Enjoy your beautiful creation.
The Charcuterie Board can be made 1-2 hours ahead (keep cool and out of direct sunlight).
Charcuterie varieties: Bresola, Genoa Salami, prosciutto, Sopressa, Mortadella, Coppa, Jamon ZIberico, Rillettes, Liver Mousse or Pate. Plan on 1-2 ounces per person for an appetizer portion if serving with other things.
Cheese. Pick 2-5 different varieties, choosing both soft and hard varieties. Plan on 1-2 ounces per person.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 348
- Sugar: 6.3 g
- Sodium: 499.7 mg
- Fat: 18.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 33.6 g
- Fiber: 3.4 g
- Protein: 14.2 g
- Cholesterol: 33.5 mg
Keywords: charcuterie board, how to make a charcuterie board, cheese board, how to make a cheese board, what to serve on a cheese board, charcuterie plate, meat and cheese platter, winter solstice foods
I like your approach ( candles and enjoy). As I am assembling this board, I am hesitating about putting things on that cannot be eaten by guests, like a whole pomegranate, and herbs. I was trained not to put anything on the plate that cannot be eaten. I love pomegranate, but have a hard time adding something that is not easily edible. Have you tried cutting them into small wedges, so guests can separate seeds from pulp on a small scale, or just a bowl of the arils? Thanks for any advice on this one.
Hi Joseph- Yes, I agree, I usually cut/ tear into quarters when serving, or serve some in bowls. 🙂
I do a big party of 100-125 people…. Will this freeze if outside too long?
What is the temp?
Looks amazing and as winter is around the corner for us in Australia a must have