Happy Wednesday, my friends! Are you staying cool? Boy, Summer arrived with a vengeance this week! So, do yourself a favor and instead of turning on the stove and heating up the house tonight, why not make a delicious Charcuterie Board for dinner?
First of all, who doesn’t love a good cheese tray? And if you throw in some meats, nuts, fruit and veggies, you have yourself a full blown charcuterie board! (shahr-koo-tuh-ree) These days you can usually find a charcuterie board on the menu at most restaurants, but they are so simple to make at home, too! Actually, this is one of our favorite ways to snack especially this time of year. Sometimes, it’s our lunch or dinner!
My husband and I often prepare a charcuterie board as an appetizer when we are entertaining. And the sky is the limit when choosing what to include! Many of the ingredients, like the cheeses, come pre-sliced making it easy to put it together at the last minute! We like to start with a large platter or cutting board. Our children gave us this beautiful board a few years ago for Christmas and it’s the perfect size! Recently I put together this board when my in-laws were coming for dinner. In addition to all of the snacks, I added a small vase of Gardenias on the board to add a little fragrance and interest.
Here’s what we like to include on our charcuterie boards:
1-Assortment of cheeses. Most grocery stores carry pre-sliced cheeses in the dairy section, which is super handy. Our favorite cheeses are: Gouda, Havarti, Monterey Jack, cheddar and brie.
2-Meats-such as salami, prosciutto, soppressata. Slice the meats before hand to allow for easy pick up. Allow 3-4 slices per person.
3-Crackers and Bread- Crackers such as Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Buttery Crackers, such as Ritz, and our new favorite by Crunch Master Mulit-Grain crackers. (found at Publix near the deli) You can also serve a baguette, sliced thin and lightly toasted.
4-Nuts-we like to use Planter’s Deluxe mix which includes cashews, almonds, pecans and pistachios.
5-Fruits and Veggies-These add lots of color and interest to a charcuterie board. Our favorites are seedless grapes, sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh berries. You can also add dried apricots. Raw veggies such as carrots and celery are good too.
6-Pickles and Olives-We are huge fans of green and black olives so I like to add a small bowl of one or both on the tray. Small baby dill pickles are also tasty and easy to serve.
7-Dips-A good ranch dip or pimento cheese is a yummy addition to any cheese plate. Our favorite Pimento Cheese is by Pawley’s Island Palmetto Cheese Spread with Jalapeño Peppers. It has just the right amount of heat and is great served with Wheat Thins or Pretzel Thins.
8-Chocolate! Because almost everyone I know has a sweet tooth, including me! Some friends tipped us off to some delicious chocolate, sea-salt caramels found at Aldi.
Actually there is no wrong way to assemble a charcuterie board! The more variety you include the better, and pile it on! A sweet friend brought over this cute tray as an appetizer recently. The little cows are markers and you use dry erase markers to identify each of the cheeses. So cute and clever! Thanks, Helen!
I found this picture of a gorgeous board on Pinterest. I believe the photo credit goes to @mydomaine. Doesn’t it look delicious? They added figs, which my Mother would LOVE.
A few years ago at my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding reception, their caterer made the most amazing (and largest) charcuterie board I’ve eve seen! And not to worry about the cheese melting. It was 29 degrees that day! Isn’t this gorgeous? This goes to show that any size and shape of board is doable! And it was as delicious as it was beautiful!
And some folks even MAKE their own charcuterie boards, bowls and serving pieces! This gorgeous set shown below was made by my talented nephew, Rory Joyce. He and his equally talented wife, Audrey make so many beautiful things! They are the dynamic duo behind their small business called Wood and Button. Rory makes the “wood” portion of the business and Audrey, the “button” or items which are sewn. They travel far and wide to craft shows and also sell their beautiful things online. Check them out at www.woodandbutton.com to see a full line of their cutting boards, spoons, spreaders, bowls, biscuit cutter, etc. I have several of Rory’s cutting boards and spoons and they are all hand made and of excellent quality! And they make excellent gifts! (Photo credit Audrey & Rory Joyce)
Rory even made about 450 custom cutting boards last year for actress Kaley Cuoco’s wedding! (Ok, I had to brag a little.)
So, these are a few ideas for making your own great charcuterie board! Again, it’s so simple and easy to put together one of these for relaxed entertaining or meals. What are your favorite ingredients to include? Naturally, we think it is best served with a glass or two of chilled wine!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day! Stay cool, my friends! xoxo Dell