Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Cheese and Charcuterie Board ~ simple, stress-free entertaining. A display of meats, cheeses, bread, fruit and nuts. Goes perfectly with wine.
I’ve always loved hosting friends and family in our home long before I started blogging. The first time I invited the family over, I was a naïve, clueless newlywed. This was long before Google and Pinterest so not knowing what to make, I cooked . . . everything.
It looked like an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral and I made everything myself refusing all help. That doesn’t mean I was a kitchen ninja. It just made me a crazy woman.
I’ve done a lot of entertaining since then and I’m much more relaxed now (don’t listen to a word my kids say). One reason is that I’ve simplified things and learned to serve food like this Cheese and Charcuterie Board that makes an appearance at almost every gathering at our house.
WHAT IS A CHARCUTERIE BOARD?
A Cheese and Charcuterie Board is really just a meat and cheese tray. Once it’s assembled, it’s an impressive appetizer and so easy to customize according to your taste.
It’s my all-time favorite appetizer for a couple of reasons: it’s delicious and always a hit and I can make it ahead of time freeing me to spend time with guests.
I found almost all the ingredients for this Cheese and Charcuterie Board at Aldi hands down one of the best places for cheese, wine and chocolate.
Building a Cheese and Charcuterie Board:
First, you don’t have to have an actual board. A tray or platter work just fine too but I found this one at T.J. Maxx for $10.00 and couldn’t resist!
Shoot for 3-4 types of cheese with a good mix of both strong and mild. On this board I used a creamy Havarti Dill, a strong Blue cheese and Smoked Gouda.
Charcuterie is the meat portion of the board. My favorites are Soppressata and Prosciutto because they go well with a variety of cheeses. Spicy Chorizo is another good option, but there are lots to choose from.
I like to add a little sweet to the board in the form of fresh fruit. Grapes, pears and apples are all good options as well as festive pomegranate seeds this time of year.
Nuts add some texture to the board. I’ll go with what I find on sale; in this case these delicious cashews.
Olives are optional but add a nice, briny taste. If you aren’t a fan and don’t think your guests are either, skip them.
Bread and Crackers:
You can go a couple routes: toasted (or in the summer, grilled) baguette, some of your favorite crackers or breadsticks or even these little naan dippers.
What’s an easy dinner with this appetizer?
Naturally, when the appetizer is this easy, dinner should be too. Quick, easy, crowd pleasing spaghetti is perfect either in your instant pot you’ve been wanting to take for a spin or stovetop. Not only delicious, it’s easy on the budget, too.
- Keep food simple whether it’s just appetizers or an entire meal so you aren’t in the kitchen all evening.
- Prep or cook as much ahead of time as possible.
- Stay away from dips if you have a large crowd. Dips lose their eye appeal after 1 or 2 guests plunge into it.
- Keep alcoholic beverages simple. Red and white wine or a signature drink, like these festive Cranberry Moscow Mules.
- Accept help. This was and still is the hardest thing for me. You too? Let’s hold hands and work on it together.
If you tried this Cheese and Charcuterie Board or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a comment or star rating ~ I love hearing from you!
- pita or naan bread
- Cashews or other nuts
- 3-4 cheeses
- apples, pears, grapes or pomegranates
- optional garnish: rosemary
- Arrange cheese and meats on the platter. Fill in spaces with nuts, breads and garnish.
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