Whether entertaining during the holidays or staying in on date night, a good charcuterie board brightens any evening. I grew up eating all kinds of cheese and salami so making these is always a real treat. I like to keep it simple and wanted to share a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to create a charcuterie board that’s easy and elegant for a nice evening with a glass of wine (or sparkling water in a wine glass)!
There really is no right or wrong way to go about this and if I’m being honest I’m always trying new cheeses. Usually I make this for myself so I keep it between one to three cheeses. If you are making this for a group I recommend at least three. I think you should provide a variety of flavors and textures: creamy, semi-soft and hard cheese assortment. I have a sweet spot for French soft cheeses, are you surprised lol? These are some of my favorites: Brillat Savarin, Saint Andre, Fromager D’Affinois, and Langres. For semi-soft and hard cheeses I love the following: Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar (good value and it’s been around for 10 years!), Manchego (always a crowd pleaser), Comté, Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove, and good old Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar (this is my husband’s favorite).
Sweet soppressata and prosciutto are always a classic and can be found at your local supermarket. If you want something more unique try jamon serrano, dried spanish sausage, and locally cured salami.
Crackers and Bread
I love a fresh baguette sliced, you can toast it with brushed olive oil or just plate it as is. I also really like the following crackers: Firehook Sea Salt Crackers, Triscuits, and 34 degree crisp bread crackers (paper thin and low in calories).
Adding grapes and dried apricots is pretty easy. Figs are always a delight but the truth is they are hard to find just ripe and aren’t available year round. My alternative is the Dalmatia Fig Spread, it’s a must for any spread and you can have it any time of year!
I always have cornichons on hand and I’m obsessed with castelvetrano olives. These olives come in a jar but are harder to find, I normally just get them at the olive bar. Other things you can add are nuts.
You can use so many different boards to display your assortment. The one I used for this is a wooden board by John Boos that I also use when cooking. If you are not familiar with John Boos, it’s the holy grail of boards and if you love the kitchen you need one, all great chefs have it You can also use decorative boards such as ones made of marble like this one or this one from William Sonoma, or a round wooden one like this one from William Sonoma.
I hope these tips are helpful when you create your next charcuterie board, I’m planning my board as we speak for Thanksgiving this year!
We are so appreciative to Chanel who wrote this lovely post using her WREN board!
The Perfect Charcuterie Board in 5 Steps
There are a lot of fantastic charcuterie board guides out there, but over at WREN, we keep it nice and simple. Aka, if it can't be done in 12 minutes or less, it's probably not going to happen. So we threw together a quick n' simple serving option, that will wow even the most critical of cheese-board connoisseurs.