Well, it’s the month of March madness, and this weekend is the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. We all know that a lot of time is going to be spent in front of the television cheering on our favorite teams. And you know when we are doing all of that television watching, we can sure work up an appetite. Having fun is hard work. Putting out a bag of chips and opening up a container of dip is fine and all, but wouldn’t it be nicer to set out a well-planned, colorful, and delicious charcuterie board? It’s really not hard to put one together. We are going to show you how to make a charcuterie board, and by the way, the board you see in the photos was prepared for seven of us.
Although a tray will certainly work, I like to use a cutting board as the vessel that holds the snacks. I found my favorite one at Ikea for less than $15.00. Having a colorful selection of fruits, crackers, nuts, cheese, and meat is what makes a charcuterie board so visually appealing. A cutting board offers a large flat, surface that provides space for the foods.
Unless you or the people who are eating are vegetarians or vegan, a good charcuterie board should have at least one kind of meat. Depending on how many people I am serving, I will for sure have a log of pepperoni that has been partially sliced. It is more visullay appealing to have part of the pepperoni sliced and partly not sliced. Slices of salami or proscuitto are good layered in among the selection. Be sure to keep an eye on the board as people fill their plates and freshen it up as needed. Add more of whatever gets consumed.
Fruit is always good on a charcuterie board. I like to use either red or white grapes and a seasonal fruit. In the spring and summer, berries are nice. Sliced apples are good to use in the fall and winter.
According to my girl The Barefoot Contessa, a cheese board should have three choices – a soft cheese, a blue cheese, and a hard cheese. For a charcuterie board, you only need one cheese. I chose a Vermont cheddar, but I could just as easily have gone with a soft cheese like a brie. Personally, I would only serve a blue cheese if I also had another selection. Some people are put off by the strong flavors of a blue cheese.
I think it’s nice to have at least two types of crackers or bread. I provided my favorite crackers and crisp, garlic flavored crostini.
To round out the selections, here are some other items that you can add to a charcuterie board:
Picks (Don’t forget these!)
Olives (green and ripe)
Cream cheese with pepper jelly
Small cheese ball
Do you have a weekend of basketball watching ahead of you? If you plan to create a charcuterie board for your crew, be sure to share it on social media and tag us. We hope your team wins!!