I love to put together a beautiful meat and cheese board. Some of my friends would call me a little fanatical about it! In my opinion, it is the perfect appetizer!
I’m often asked “What is a charcuterie board?” and what to put on a charcuterie board. Here it is – all the charcuterie board ingredients. These tips will guide you to creating the best charcuterie board for your next event.
Step 1: The Platter
Making a charcuterie board starts with a really great foundation. You can find great rustic wooden boards at your local craft store or make one at a DIY Studio. I simply rinse them off with warm water, soap, sanitize and they are good to go! I also love to use marble cutting boards, vintage sliver trays, wine glasses, and even bamboo wooden cones. Depending on the type of event you are hosting, you can literally use anything you have on hand.
Step 2: The Cheese!
I love to buy a nice selection of cheeses. You will want to get a variety of flavors, such as a goat cheese, brie of some sort (goat’s milk brie is a favorite), a gouda or manchego, along with an aged cheddar. This makes a lovely mix on your cheese and charcuterie board!
*A general rule of thumb is to get one soft cheese, one firm, and one hard cheese for your board. If you need help selecting just ask someone who works at the store to help you. They usually have wonderful suggestions! Leave the cheese uncut and allow guests to slice off chunks to their liking.
Step 3: Meats
I love to provide a rounded out selection of charcuterie board meats. Prosciutto, salami, coppa, calabrese and chorizo are my go-to choices. Along with the usual suspects, I also like to add in quality sliced herb-roasted turkey slices. Having this kind of a variety allows for all guests to enjoy a little bit of everything!
Step 4: Condiments
This is where you can add in some fun gourmet touches to your board. I love to use an orange marmalade and local honey, as well as other fruit preserves. Adding some honey is so good drizzled on a piece of cheese! In addition to that you can also use whole grain mustard which allows guests to create mini sandwiches.
The condiments are like accessories to your board. They really top it off!
Step 5: Fruits, Veggies, and Nuts
Fruits, nuts, and olives are a MUST! And, let’s not forget about your veggies which are essential to the arrangement. A crisp sweet apple sliced up or a crunchy grape tastes amazing with a piece of aged cheddar on top. I love adding cream cheese to sweet bell peppers, these are my favorite!
Not only is fruit and/or vegetable a compliment to the meats and cheeses, they taste great on their own. And they are a great way to cleanse your palate.
I love a good mix of salted/or unsalted nuts which are nice to offer, along with a good selection of olives. This combination of fruits, veggies, nuts and olives make a fresh, yet tasteful charcuterie board work great!
Step 6: Carbs
A beautiful sliced baguette, artisan crackers, and crostini add so much to the mix here. They are the vehicles to get to all this yumminess into your belly! Choose wisely, because these will set the tone for your whole spread. You’ve come so far now, so don’t skip on this step!
Final Touches to Your Charcuterie Board
Now it’s time to get your fancy on and accessorize your gorgeous spread! There are no limits to your charcuterie board items and decorations. Add in some fresh herbs – I love using rosemary, fresh thyme, basil along with many other herbs. I absolutely love accessorizing with flowers, or even edible flowers which can really help elevate the look of your feast! Add decorations to compliment the holiday or theme of your party! Have fun with it!
Gabby’s Table is a small business in the Houston area. The owner, Gabriela Frausto, is a nutritionist with a love for everything charcuterie! When not in the kitchen creating beautiful displays of food for her customers, friends, and family, she is a loving wife and mother of three.