Un-Brie-Leavable: Your Simple Guide to Assembling a Beautiful Charcuterie Board

7:24 PM

     

Tis' the season for wine sipping and cheese eating! Not that this requires a specific season, but now more than ever, it seems Charcuterie boards are the new, hip thing. After trying one for myself, I completely understand why! They take very little time, they look super cute and classy, and they are the perfect addition to a glass (or more) of wine. With the pandemic, it is also a great way to try something new and host a small group of friends, instead of having to go out to a winery or somewhere public (cheaper, too!) The term "charcuterie" refers to assembling cured meats, for example: salami, prosciutto, bacon. However, let's be real to most of us.. it's a board filled with cheeses, meats, nuts, snacks, fruits and basically anything to please the eye and stomach. It can seem like a difficult task or like it requires much time, effort and money, but I promise it does not. Read below for tips on assembling your own & what types of goodies to include!

What to Include:
You can't go wrong including any of the following, however, I suggest tailoring to your group. For example, my boyfriend has a nut allergy so I wouldn't include nuts, but would include more from another category.
Cheeses: cheddar (mild, sharp), mozzarella, brie, gouda, swiss, provolone, etc.
Meats: salami, prosciutto, bacon, pepperonis, sausages, chorizo, etc.
Dips: bruschetta (my recipe), salsa, jam, olive oil, hummus, tzatziki, etc.
Fruits: grapes, apple slices, berries, oranges, apricots, olives, etc.
Nuts: cashews, peanuts, pistachios, etc.   
Veggies: mini bell peppers (or chopped), carrots, celery, etc.
Breads: french baguette, crackers, wheat thins, etc.


Assembling: 
Board: First, choose your board or what you want to put your food on. You don't need the finest "charcuterie board." I've seen people use large plates, and this is actually a cutting board. The goal is to not have much of the board showing any way. 
Start Big: Once you determine what you're putting it on, you can start your display. Start with your dishes and bowls if you are using any, as well as your cheeses and meats (these are the foundation). Spread them out in different places on your board. 
Next, I lay out the next biggest space filler, which is crackers and bread and then it's as simple as filling in the gaps. This is the most fun part because you can get super creative. I like to strategically separate different colors, for ex. I wouldn't put a red salsa or bruschetta next to pepperonis because they're both red. I can't exactly say how to do this part because it's totally your preference and what you like!
Observe: Stand back, take a look, and if something seems "off" just move it to a different spot. 
Tips: Try to use a variety of colors for a nice, vibrant look. Blueberries would have been a nice touch to mine, as I didn't include any blues. Another suggestion is to keep simple; I listed out quite a few suggestions, but just as a helpful guide- not because you should buy them all. Select a couple from a few categories to start. Lastly, try not to overthink (says the biggest over thinker I know) & Enjoy - in reality it's (hopefully) going to end up empty any way! 
Have fun y'all! Be sure to share your pictures with me on Instagram if you try one

{pictured on mine: French baguette baked + sliced, homemade bruschetta, white cheddar & cambert cheese spread in container, brie, pesto mozzarella braid, mild cheddar, pepper jack, dry salami bites, olives, grapes, crackers, apricot jam spread, tomato and basil rice crackers, low sodium Ritz crackers. Majority of my items were purchased from Aldi. They have a section with cheese, meat, spreads which makes it super easy to grab a few things and go!}

-Kait xo 

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