A charcuterie board is an entertaining essential in my book, the essential “ingredients” of which I feel like we always need to have on hand. Whether someone pops by for a meeting, or a neighbor comes over for a glass of wine, or a friend shows up at the last minute, it’s one of those things that feels so effortlessly chic to be able to put together.
A well executed charcuterie board always has at least one cured meat, two cheeses, a cracker, a vegetable (pickled, cured or fresh) and a sweet element.
To make it easy for guests, slice the cheese and meats for them!
I’m also a big fan of having seasonal napkins (guest, dinner and cocktail) stashed in the house.
Here’s my strategy when I’m picking up goodies for a charcuterie board:
- Pick 2-3 cheeses, one a crowd favorite like cheddar, then two others that might be less popular. I like to pick a cheese that is wine or herb infused, something that is easy to tell the difference once on your plate or board.
- Pick at least 2 crackers, different shapes and flavors.
- Pick at least 1 meat for a small plate, 2-3 for a larger plate.
- Grab a bunch of grapes, they’re always a hit! Sliced apple pairs well with brie, figs are lovely with a soft goat cheese, strawberries are my favorite so I like to sneak them on a plate whenever I can.
- A vegetable of some sort – I count olives in this category, basically pick something that isn’t meat or cheese or crackers to liven up the board. Sweet & spicy cherry peppers work well, as do cornichons.
And as always, if you plan ahead and make a list it’s all much easier to put together! And once you know what you love, you can easily stock up on the essentials to pull together at the last minute!
What are your charcuterie board must haves?