It’s summer and light, tastefully prepared dishes can make your dinner parties a great success. For starters, a charcuterie board will wow your guests. Charcuterie boards are all the rage nowadays and are easy to assemble, but what is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other meat products, but the term is popularly used to refer to an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese, meats and sauces. If you want to offer charcuterie on your menu, you will need a board. You can use whatever size/shape you want, and the size should be according to the number of guests.
The following items are typically on a charcuterie board:
* Cured meats
* Olives and nuts
* Dry fruit
* Crackers or small slices of bread
* Honey, jelly or jam
Meats – Choose a variety of meats that are easy to pierce with a toothpick, like beef salami.
Cheese – Get at least two types of cheese:
yellow and white, hard and soft. Parmesan and fresh cottage would work. Slice them or cut blocks into cubes. You can also add in a creamy dip.
Bread and crackers – thin slices of toasted baguettes are perfect for spreading and scooping and are available in almost all bakeries!
Fruit and nuts – Fresh fruit like grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or even pear or apple slices add colour and freshness. Dried apricots or other fruits are sweet and add a different texture. Nuts should be shelled and salted, try a salted mixture, pistachios or candied walnuts.
Sweet – A little bit of honey, jam and jelly goes well with cheese and bread. Pickles, olives and dips – Small bowls of black and green olives or other pickled vegetables like carrots and cucumber, relish and a dip. Hummus is a good choice.
Add sprigs of herbs as the finishing touch.
It’s your board, so arrange it the way you want. The best charcuterie boards are piled high with various foods, but they all mix and match together. There’s really no wrong way to assemble a great meat and cheese board!
Start with small bowls filled with jams/fruits/dips, etc. and arrange the meats and cheeses around them. Use toothpicks to shape the meats the way you want. Dips and spreads should be in small covered containers until ready to arrange on the board in small bowls for easy access. Enjoy!