So I am just in LOVE with charcuterie boards lately. I see the prettiest ones all over the “blog-o-sphere” and Pinterest. I’d love to be able to make ones exactly like that but alas I just don’t have the budget or time to create such an elaborate spread. Instead, I decided to create a basic and simple charcuterie board with some classic staples.
Every charcuterie board needs a mix of flavors from pickled, salty, spicy and sweet.
- Always include cured meats— Most grocery stores, especially Whole Foods, will have cured meats pre-packaged so it makes assembly so much easier
- Don’t fret over picking the “right” cheese— Shop for what looks and sounds good and what’s in your budget. To be honest, your friends are not going to know or care if you picked the “perfect” cheese to pair with a particular meat or wine. Just go with what you want! I went with a smoked maple gouda and organic smoked cheddar. I love smoky cheese!
- Pick one unique pickled item— You can either use something you pickled yourself (I had these spicy pickles already canned) or hit up the olive bar at your local grocery store. Again, Whole Foods has a great selection here and you might be able to find some pickled radish, asparagus spears, etc. Find one thing unique to “wow” your guests”.
- Include a spread— You’ll want with a savory or sweet spread/jam/jelly to balance the board out. Since I had a lot of “salty” items I opted for a sweet fig spread. Adding a sweet touch helps balance the board out. You can also include a pate spread for another unique flavor.
- If you don’t include a sweet spread, opt for fruit— Fruits like sliced figs, grapes
- Add a variety of crackers/breads– You’ll want a few different types of crackers to pair with things as the meat and cheese may go well with one and the spread/fruit may go well with another. Instead of making your own baguette slices keep it simple and pick up pre-packaged crackers.
When you get ready to serve your board, that’s the fun part! I was lucky enough to have this chalkboard serving platter so I could write right on it. You can use a big piece of craft paper and lay it out on the table then write on the craft paper. Or you could make little table tent signs to place next to each item. Have fun with this part but keep it simple! Just a little heads up of what the item is not only impresses your guests, it makes trying new things less intimidating for them.