How to Make an Easy Charcuterie Board
What makes a fabulous Charcuterie Board?
One of the greatest things about a Charcuterie Board is that there is little to no cooking involved, which means it can be a quick an easy way to put together a great dish for your party. Though, if you are feeling creative there is still room to get a little fancy. Here are a few tip to get you started:
How Much Food?
It’s important to consider how many people you’ll be serving. Generally you’ll want 2-3 ounces of charcuterie per person. This type of food is pretty rich. If you’re doing it for a cocktail party, where the charcuterie is the majority of the food people are eating, you’re going to double the amount of meat and serve it with plenty of bread. So about 5 ounces per person.
Where to Start?
The key is variety; you’ll want to an assortment of mild, medium and bold flavors that folks can mix and match. One good place to start is with prosciutto. It has a very well-rounded flavor and makes a good base. Other classic choices include salami and sopressata. Having a balance between crudo (cured raw) and cotto (cooked meats) will help broaden the depth of your board.
Sweet: try 1 or 2 jams or preserves for some added sweetness to balance out salty meat and cheese. Fig spreads go great with a lot of cheeses and meats and makes an easy addition to any board.
Briny: like pickled vegetables, olives, pickled jalapenos or pepperoncinis. These can be paired easily with the bold meats, such as salami or sopressata, and add a mouth-watering tang. They are also a great palate cleanser. The acidic qualities will neutralize any strong flavors left on the palate. Grapes and olives pair well with salty cured meats, cleansing the palate and giving some appealing color to the board as well
With so many interesting flavors to choose from it can be nice to serve it all with just a simple baguette to the side. It gives you something to build on.
Presentation: Add Some Extra Flair
The layout is a great place for beginner board creators to get creative, and try out a few different set ups. Mix up textures and colors, try rolling and stacking the meat to add height. Or try drizzling olive oil over the pâtés and spreadables. Then sprinkle black pepper, and crunchy salt on top. This will add just the right amount of visual and taste complexity to give your board great texture.