Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and for many people marks the beginning of summer. Friends and families all around will gather together to honor the memory and legacy of the incredible men and women who have sacrificed all to protect our freedoms. Memorial Day and every day, we are so grateful!
My family will spend time together playing yard games and grilling out by the pool. When I’m hosting friends and family, charcuterie boards are one of my favorite go-to’s. They can play any role in your entertaining plan, from a light appetizer to the main entree, depending on your food selections. I love combining a variety of tastes, textures, and colors to create a beautiful, inviting display of delicious food. It’s such a great way to allow guests to enjoy both classic favorites and interesting new foods!
It can feel overwhelming to put a Pinterest-worthy charcuterie board together, but it really is meant to reflect your own personal style. The options are truly endless! As an added bonus, most boards require absolutely no cooking. The only skill required is buying some tasty ingredients - or raiding your fridge and pantry!
The perfect charcuterie board is the one that fits your mood and menu - it can be as simple or complex as you want. Creating a beautiful display of food is easy when you keep a few guidelines in mind. Once you get started, you’ll find that your confidence will build more each time. Here are a few tips to help you get started. I hope this inspires you to try your hand at creating a charcuterie board for your next get-together!
Start with a good board
I love using wooden boards of all shapes and sizes depending on the size of the group I’m serving and the ingredients I’ve chosen. The warmth of wood really adds to the aesthetic of your table display, but if you don’t have a board on hand, grab your favorite plate or platter. Remember to keep in mind the size of the serving board or platter when planning your ingredients.
Anchor your display with meats & cheeses
I like to have two or three blocks of cheese that offer a variety of flavors and textures. My favorites include espresso-crusted manchego, goat cheese, and baby swiss. I place these on the board first since they take up the most space, and follow up with laying out cured or deli meats, in and around the cheeses. This begins to create different shapes and spaces on the board that will be filled later by other ingredients.
Use small bowls for condiments, dips, and small, messy things
A great way to add interesting flavors to your board is to incorporate condiments, dips, and jams, as well as olives, pickled foods, and nuts. Using small glass or porcelain cups or bowls helps keep these contained and adds visual interest to your board. As a bonus, these little containers help separate strong flavors that may not mix well!
Add sliced breads, crackers, or chips
A variety of crackers and breads is a perfect addition to the meats and cheeses on your charcuterie board. Choose from sliced baguettes, artisan crisps, crackers, and chips, to create varied choices for your guests to pair with the meats and cheeses. If you or your guests are gluten-free, the range of truly delicious options that have emerged is incredible. One of my favorite crackers is Van’s Perfect 10 - that they are gluten-free is a bonus!
Fill in the gaps, nooks & crannies
Use seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables to fill in the spaces on your board. Dried fruits also add color, flavor, and sweetness in any season. I love to include dried apricots on my board to balance out the savory meats and cheeses. The goal is to have a really full board with very little space showing, so pile it on!
Serve and enjoy!
Before you take that first bite, snap a few pics both to remind yourself that you can do this and for a quick reference the next time you are inspired to create a charcuterie board. Now - pour a glass of wine for you and your guests, and enjoy!
While charcuterie boards may feel like they take extra effort, the more you utilize them, the more you will enjoy experimenting with new foods and flavors to add. From a date night for two to a dinner party for the neighborhood, these boards add just the right touch for any occasion!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
P.S. Share your charcuterie board photos on Instagram and tag @thewacosocial. We are cheering for you!