First things first, the word “charcuterie” means prepared meat. We… the people… have turned charcuterie boards into what they are today. Meat, cheese, fruits, nuts, crackers, breads… all the things. Which I am totally fine with… but also, if your “charcuterie board” doesn’t have meat in it… call it something else! Like a fruit and cheese tray or whatever it was our parents called them 🙂
Today, as my Sunday Offering to you, I want to share some super basic and easy ways to create a dreamy charcuterie board for one, two, ten or 30 people! The idea is the same. There are no real rules. And no matter what you do or how you do it… people will love it.
Charcuterie for One
This is the best snack you could make yourself. The best lunch, the best breakfast, even the best dinner. It will make you feel fancy and spoiled and cared for and just very happy to be living life.
Use a small plate, one meat, one cheese, one style of crackers, one fruit and a handful of nuts. And you are done. Enjoy with a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, a cold Topo Chico or just some plain old tap water.
Charcuterie for Two
This is a great board to make when a friend pops in or you and your love aren’t really that hungry but still want a little something in the evening… or whenever you want, with whoever you want.
I like to use a small cutting board. Now, add 2 of each thing. Some simple suggestions would be one hard and one soft cheese, one salami style meat and one prosciutto style meat, 2 crackers, 2 fruits, 2 nuts.
Charcuterie for three or more
This where I get into using an actual serving board. I love this round platter I got at Target because it has a lip on the edge so I can fill it up without stuff falling off.
On this board, I have 3 meats, 3 crackers, 3 fruits (1 dried), 2 cheeses, 2 olives and 2 nuts. For a board like this, I always put the soft cheese in first and build around it. Normally it’s: soft cheese, hard cheese, crackers, meats, fruits, olives and then add on the nuts everywhere.
I love love love these 3 products that you can find at any store you go to. I got all 3 of these at Wal Mart. The cracker pack is like $3, it’s the Wal Mart brand and it’s called Entertainment Crackers. The other 2 are found over by the deli counter, not near the lunch meat section.
I love the variety the crackers and meat packages give and I love the texture and flavor of the soft cheese… and you don’t have to add anything to it like when you use plain goat cheese.
Ok… now for the big ones! I adore a huge charcuterie spread for birthdays, holidays, friend dinners… whatever the occasion… if it’s a large crowd… I’m going to make a big board. This gives people something to munch on as soon as they walk in the door. It’s like I said last week in “Let’s Get Em Talking” engaging their taste, touch and smell senses immediately helps guests relax. It also keeps them busy while you finish preparing.
We have the perfect little table in our house that I use as the entire board. I cover it in butcher paper and just go for it! I put everything on a board like this… meat, cheese, fruits, nuts, breads, crackers, olives, pickled stuff, hummus, fruit spread, mustard… I love to add in beef jerky and dried fruits for a different texture.
For a board of this size, think: flavor, color and texture.
Also, add in some decorative elements like flowers, candles, sprigs of rosemary. Use bowls, boards and stands to give the board height and visual diversity.
I did this board for a friend of mine on her kitchen island and it turned out so good! I love it when you have enough guests that you can use tons of food and make everything touch and overlap and lay on each other.
For this one, I started with the butcher paper and then built it from the outside in… crackers on opposite corners, fruit on opposite corners and then inward… cheeses, meats, bowls of pickled stuff, dishes of soft cheese and then peppers for color, bread sticks and beef jerky for height… and lastly, all the nuts! Everywhere! And I threw in some mini pepperonis and capers too!
I hope this helps and I hope it encourages you to make these little boards for yourself or your entire family on any occasion. They are so easy and make you feel real good about yourself!
Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!