Happy Valentine’s week 😍🍫💋💃🏿❤️🍾💗❣️ Recently, my cheese boards have been taken to a whole new level: the #CHARCUTERIEBOARD 🧀🥖🍇🍒 is one of the easiest appetizers for a crowd or just a few. I’ve been playing around a bit this week with some Valentine’s-themed boards. Here are some tips when it comes to putting a charcuterie board together:
- Balance ⚖️ is super important. I didn’t love my first board (pic 2) because I felt that it was very unbalanced in terms of color, pattern, and style. I love how the grapes (pic 1) really anchor and balance this board. To anchor your board, you should first put down larger items -things like larger pieces of soft cheese*, any bowls of things, or bunches of grapes. With items you’re adding that are cut or in pieces, it’s best to have some organization to them. It can be 1 or 2 little clusters (the almonds and chocolate), in a small bowl or glass (the. dried mango) a fanned out line (shown with the cheese), a fanned out circle (shown with this sausage). What you do not want are random, individual items scattered throughout the board.
- Cut up your hard cheeses and meats! We had to dissect the first board to get to some of the cheeses. If I had left the sausages whole, we never would have been able to get in to cut them up.
- You can fill these with anything you want. The obvious items are cheese and crackers, but really these “boards” can be charcuterie or have anything from sweet items like chocolate, gummies, candied nuts; bowls of olives, nuts, dips, honey, or jam; fresh or dried fruits; veggies – pickled or raw; chips; or really anything you think your guests will enjoy.
- Put out little appetizer plates with your board. If it’s just 2 of you or a crowd, it’s easier for people to take a few things at a time and put them on a plate.
- Don’t forget to put out utensils for both your board and your guests -a spoon in your honey or dip, toothpicks, little tongs, etc., and depending on what your board contains, you might need a fork and knife to eat the items.
- You can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of your cheeses and fruits. The hearts are made out of Compté cheese.
- I love the “LOVE”, but in the first board it’s almost like one of those color blindness tests. You’ll miss it if you don’t look carefully. So if you’re doing something like this, make sure you have some color contrast. In general though, you can choose to put like colors together, to have lots of contrast, or really anything.
- You can have any theme you’d like. In these, I have a Valentine’s day theme, but you can also choose a theme by:
- Region/country: like Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, etc.
- Course: appetizer, dessert (see second pic in my lemon bars post), or even a large board of sides dishes or mains -like a falafel board
- Holiday themed: Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, 4th of July, etc.
- Color: a rainbow or lots of different shades of the same color or a few colors
- Pattern: Stripes, polka dots, spell out a word, make a flag
- And finally, you might be thinking that the charcuterie board is very Covid unfriendly. First, let’s think positive! We will all be able to share a charcuterie board some time in the very near future (hopefully). But in the meantime, here are some Covid-friendly options:
- mini boards – 1 for each different household -or-
- the “jarcuterie” a little mason jar (complete with toothpick or maybe a skewer for the stuff all the way at the bottom) of goodies for each person.
These are so much fun to put together, and this is definitely not the last of these you’ll see from me!