Celebrate the Season with a Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie is all the rage these days, and it’s so easy to create a board that will wow your family and your tastebuds. Pronounced “shar-koo- tuh-ree,” this food trend originates in France. The word describes the mix of foods—cured meats, fine cheeses, crackers, fruit and more—that make up a board.
Let’s get started on how you can make a board that delights this holiday season.
First, you’ll need a board. A large wooden cutting board will do the trick. You can also buy charcuterie boards from many local artisans in Saskatchewan—boards are a great gift for any foodie.
Next, you need to decide on your ingredients. These days, it’s easy to find a wonderful selection of charcuterie foodstuffs at your favourite local grocer or specialty food store.
For a basic board, here are some ideas for foods to include. Think about the four Ss: sweet, savoury, salty and spicy when making your choices. Also, think about the mix of colours too. The brighter the board, the better.
Thinly sliced cured meats:
prosciutto, mortadella, salami, sopressata, capocollo and speck
Spreadables: pâté or terrine, hummus, tapenade, jam, dips such as spinach or artichoke
Cheeses: hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp. Good choices include smoked Gouda, aged Cheddar, Provolone, Burrata, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gruyère, Chèvre, Camembert and Stilton.
Vegetables: Olives, pickles, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichokes
Fruit: fresh berries, grapes, dried apricots, dates, figs
Nuts: walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, almonds
Crackers and Bread: buttery crackers, grainy hard crackers, flatbreads, thinly sliced baguettes.
To assemble, start with items that need to be dished such as dips, vegetables and nuts. Place the filled bowls on the board first. Next, add meats and cheeses (cube or slice harder cheeses for easy eating) around the board. Then, place the crackers and breads, followed by filling gaps with fresh or dried fruit, and then garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs. Chill until ready to serve!
Every board will be different and that is what makes them so fabulous. Use your imagination and experiment every time you create a board. Embrace your inner chef and most of all, have fun!