December 14, 2018

Holiday Charcuterie Board


One of my go-to appetizers will always be the charcuterie board. I’ve served them at all types of gatherings…from smaller dinner parties to larger events….and they are ALWAYS a hit. I think people just love to graze and pick at all their favorites! I also love that they can be created to reflect the season using fresh and readily available ingredients.

Scroll down to ready a few guidelines I follow every time to create these bountiful boards. 

Pick your base:  No matter how many people you’re planning on feeding with your charcuterie board, I always want the board to have a feeling of an abundant feast. A skimpy charcuterie board just won’t do!! 

The board shown here was created for a holiday event in my neighborhood with 20+ adults, so therefore the board itself had to be large. I decided to use my absolute favorite board from McGee & Co. It’s huge and provided the perfect blank canvas!!

Place cheese first: I always start building a charcuterie board by placing the cheeses down first. I’ll almost always do a brie, a hard white cheddar and then something else that catches my eye. Since they are usually the largest items on the board, it’s great to get them down first so that they act as anchors for the rest of the items.

Add height:  Small cakes stands, bowls and breadsticks are my favorite way to add height to a charcuterie board. Height brings dimension and interest to your board, and lets face it, just makes the whole thing prettier!

Crackers: They might bot be the prettiest things on the board, but they are necessary! I love to have at least a couple different options, usually a multi-grain and plain. After the cheeses are placed, I’ll add in the crackers in large rows in a few different spots on the board.

The fun stuff:  Once the basics of cheese and crackers have been placed, it’s now time to add in the fun stuff!! Meats (prosciutto and salami are my favorite), olives, nuts, jams, fruit, dried fruit…there are literally so many options.  This is also the best place to add seasonal items. For this winter board I added apples, dried apricots, nuts, grapes, pears and rosemary sprigs.

Don’t forget color:  Always make sure you have a few different items to add color to your board. Cheese and crackers are boring and bland! The fun stuff adds the color! Fresh herbs, fruit and dried fruit add the color and make the board come alive! 

Most importantly, have fun with it!! The great thing about these charcuterie boards is there really isn’t a right or wrong way to put them together. No right or wrong ingredients (in my opinion anyway!) So add items that you and your guests love, pile things high to make it look abundant and ENJOY!

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elizabeth johnson

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