There's nothing better than easy holiday entertaining - and everyone goes NUTS for this Greek-inspired Antipasto-themed board! For the most festive times of the year, when family and friends spend time at our home, one of my favorite things to pull together is a Charcuterie Board - easily customized with cheese, meats, fruits, nuts and crackers already on hand, and each one is a little bit different.
Charcuterie Boards can be made as small or as large as you like. Start with your basic theme, whether you want to gather a traditional board, or something with more of a theme - holiday, breakfast, Greek or Italian-themed, or a simple cheese and fresh fruit board to share with your sweetie.
I really wanted a Greek-inspired board for tonight, so I used prosciutto, peppered salami and hot capocolla. A fig goat cheese log, sun-dried tomato & basil semi-soft cheese, chevre goat cheese and feta cheese are perfect to add. Grapes and dried apricots were my "sweet fruit" additions. A quick trip to the fresh olive bar at our local market for a selection of marinated olives and artichokes, feta cheese stuffed olives, roasted red bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes rounded everything out and provided a splash of color and flavor.
If you're like me, there are always a gazillion little bits of odds and ends in the refrigerator and pantry, and this is the perfect way to fill in the gaps and really make your board creative! Soft pretzel rolls and an assortment of crackers are perfect on the side.
Capture the best fruit and flavors of each season and you can really make your boards special every time!
Charcuterie boards are the easiest no-fuss way to entertain a large group, or just a special few. You can easily refill or add new things throughout the night to keep everything fresh and healthy. I usually start with small amounts of meat and cheese, re-filling as necessary and to keep them under the two-hour "safe window" for food safety.
This is also a great way to make sure that anyone with special dietary restrictions has something to nibble on as well.
Fun to make, beautiful to share, and a favorite of everyone that visits our home. Hope that you'll love these ideas too!
The secret of a great charcuterie board is to find fresh flavors and textures that work for you and your friends. Mix and match your favorite cheeses, meats, fruits, nuts and condiments for something wonderful and unique every time!
CHEESE: a selection of 3 or 4 is the way to go. One cheese should be soft and creamy; another firm and aged, another flavorful, and another that is seasonal and different. Some of our favorites include:
MEAT: a selection of 3 Italian sliced deli-meats is the magic number. Something spicy, something peppery, and something traditional. Some of our favorites include:
SPREADABLES: a selection of 1 or 2 gives you a nice balance. Something with an edge – and another that is a simple surprise. Some of my favorites include:
NUTS & CHOCOLATES: you can’t go wrong here at all with a selection of 3. Something simple and roasted, another spicy, and something sweet – the perfect trifecta of favorites. Popular choices include:
FRUITS & VEGETABLES: a selection of seasonal fruit and traditional vegies, both fresh and dried, gives you a nice balance and a burst of color. Some of our winter favorites are:
GARNISHES & CONDIMENTS: a simple selection of 2 or 3 rounds everything out – something sweet and something savory. Crowd favorites include:
CRACKERS & BREAD: a selection of 3 is the perfect amount – if you don’t have room on your platter, you can place them in a basket next to your board. Some favorites are:
FAVORITE WINES: Pick a few of your favorites and you’ve got an instant party! You can’t go wrong with a red and white, something dry and something sweet:
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. Choose a nice solid cutting board or wooden serving tray to create your platter. Your guests will be cutting cheese directly on the board so be sure to use something sturdy. You can always add additional platters if you are preparing this for a crowd!
2. Assemble your favorites and place on serving board, starting with the cheese and meats.
3. Don’t slice up the cheese prior to serving – put out some simple cheese knives and let everyone cut off a hunk of their favorite, or a small taste of something new.
4. Purchase sliced meats for easy serving.
5. Place your spreadables in small crocks to contain them on your board.
6. Wash and pat the fresh fruit dry; add fresh and dried fruits for color. If you’re serving fresh apple slices, soak them in Sprite or Seven-Up and pat dry so that they don’t turn brown.
7. If you serve olives or pickles, place them in tiny bowls so that they don’t roll around and flavor other platter ingredients.
8. If you don’t have enough room on your platter, place your crackers and bread selection in a basket or on a separate board.
9. Garnish with lots of fresh green and reds - fresh Rosemary, whole cranberries, ripe pomegranates or pomegranate arils – the perfect garnish for a Winter Holiday Charcuterie Board!
10. Add cheese knives, small tongs and small spoons next to the board along with appetizer plates and napkins.
11. Start with small amounts of each item – you can always refresh your platter as time goes by!
YIELD: serves a crowd!
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