Charcuterie and cheese boards are a great way to amp up your next soiree because it’s something that will always impress your guests! You can use it as an opportunity to try new and exciting cheeses or meats, or to empty out your fridge. But what is the best way to select your ingredients and place them on the board? Here is a step by step guide to help you dazzle your guests:
Pick your board
This can be anything from a marble cheese board to a wooden cutting board, or even your breakfast bar table. Anything works! After all, most of it will be covered with delicious cuts of meat, cheese, and other accompaniments.
Select your ingredients
I always recommend that you pick a hard, a soft, and a wildcard cheese. This way, everyone will find a cheese that they like! The wildcard is a great way to introduce your guests to a cheese they might have not tried before. Who knows, it might become their new favorite! For my board, I chose a Spanish manchego, a brie, and a truffle gouda as the wildcard.
For the charcuterie, I always like to have a really salty cut like prosciutto, and then I like to have a different flavor of salami every time. My personal favorite is pepper salami, it’s delicious!
Finally, select your accompaniments; if you have a soft cheese like a brie or camembert, then having a marmalade or honey on your board would pair it perfectly as the sweetness adds another dimension to the flavor. This is also really good with a Spanish Manchego. Other accompaniments you might want to add are fruits, nuts, olives, and some crackers or bread to eat the meats and cheeses with.
Remember to scale it to the size of your board, if you are having it on your entire breakfast bar for example, then it might be a good idea to choose 5 different kinds of cheese and 4 or 5 different charcuterie items such as salami, prosciutto, ham, or even some pâté. It all depends on how many people you’re feeding!
Build your board
Start by positioning your cheeses first. This will help give you an idea of how you want your board to look. It’s also very important to place items that go together well, close to each other. Cut a few pieces of cheese to encourage your guests to eat! After the cheese, place your toasts or bread, as this also takes up a lot of space.
If you are going to add marmalade or honey in a jar or container, I recommend placing it close to the cheese it’s supposed to be eaten with.
Next, you can start adding your prosciutto and salami to add a salty element. In general, I always like placing the charcuterie, as well as the crackers, in the shape of little snakes or rivers. It just makes the board look a lot better and also makes it easier for guests all around the board to reach and select what they want to eat.
Finally fill up all of the empty spaces with your favorite accompaniments like berries, nuts, olives, or anything else you have on hand. I always recommend adding some berries, figs, or kiwis, as it will give your board a pop of color. And if you want to garnish with some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary go ahead! This will also help give your board another dimension and make it look (and smell) even better.
The hard work is done, and you now have your beautiful charcuterie and cheese board for your friends and family to enjoy.