How to Make a Simple Stunning Charcuterie Board


 I put together this simple, yet stunning charcuterie board on New Year's Eve and it was so good that I wanted to share it here! I'm kind of a newbie at making charcuterie boards but wanted to share how simple they really are. The great thing about charcuterie boards is they can be made big or small, simple or extravagant, all to fit your needs. Either way, they always look elegant and are a big hit. 

Before you can make your board you have to gather all of your materials and food. I used a round board that I had at home for this particular one, however you can use a larger board, smaller board, square, rectangle, oval.... be creative! I also have a smaller over marble and wood board I use when I'm making a smaller one. You'll also need a few small bowls to scatter on the board for jams, honey, olives and any other small items that you may not want directly on the board. Don't forget any specialty utensils like cheese knives as well.

Now onto the contents of the board. Cheese! For this board I chose 5 cheeses. You can use whatever type of cheese you want. I usually include at a minimum one hard cheese and one soft cheese. My family doesn't love soft cheese as much so I usually will lean more towards hard or semi hard cheeses. It's all preference. Also think about shape when purchasing, maybe a round brie or an oval goat cheese, a square cheese with maybe a few cheese cubes as well...

Next pick your meats. This is where you can choose a few different cured meats such as prosciutto or salami. My family doesn't eat pork so I include turkey/chicken salami and other poultry alternatives. I've gone back to plant based eating so I would include a veggie "salami" alternative for myself and anyone else who didn't eat meat. You can also include a smoked tofu as well, the possibilities are endless. 

Ok so now that we've gotten the cheese and meats taken care of, you need bread. These can be baguettes toasted, crostini, crackers, bagel chips etc. I like to do a variety because it looks good on the board and gives options.
 Next you can add fruits and nuts. We didn't use any nuts because of a nut allergy but feel free to use raw cashews, almonds, candied walnuts etc. We did use fruits though. I used sliced apples, grapes, dried apricots, and berries. 
And next we have the extra items. These are the condiments like fig jam, honey, marinated olives, hummus and so much more! You can even make a spread using plain goat cheese mixed with honey and these can be spread on the crackers etc. 

Now that you've gathered all of your items, it's time to assemble the board. This is where you can get creative and have fun. 
I like to start with placing my small bowls around the board. This gives me the framework to work around.
Next, I add the cheese and follow with the meat. When placing the meats you can fold them different ways to create interest to your board, lay them flat, have them cascading in one main direction. Again be creative here.
After I've put the meats on I like to put the crackers all over. You'll start to see what I mean about the varying textures. It doesn't have to be perfect either.
Now you can add the fruits and nuts to fill in those blank spaces. This is how you can make the board look full. You can go in and play around with it until it looks how you want. And you're done! 

Hope this is helpful for the next time you are hosting!

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