On Monday, I shared my Classic Dinner Party Table Setting. Today, I decided to share the appetizer that we served for our dinner party: a cheese and charcuterie board!
Cheese and charcuterie boards are always a crowd pleaser. They are sure to have something for everyone and also look super impressive when spread out on a gorgeous wooden board. Some people can be intimidated by building their first one though, so I am including my “recipe” for how to make one. There really isn’t any cooking involved though, which is always a plus. 😉
Also, I apologize for the terrible lighting in these photos! I assembled this before our guests came and it was already dark outside, so it is what it is.
1. Pick Your Serving Dish.
For these kinds of boards, I think a wooden board is always best. You could also do a large white serving platter, or even put them on a tray of some sort.
Just remember that if you do use wood, I would recommend having something between the wood and the food to protect both items. I decided on using big hydrangea leaves to make it look pretty. Make sure you wash them first, though!
2. The Middle.
To start building out your board, you want to have something in the middle. I chose a bundle of grapes, but you could do either a dip or a baked cheese of some sort. Or even a bowl of nuts! Something round of some sort. 😉
3. Your Cheeses.
When doing both a cheese and charcuterie board, you want to limit it to about 2 to 3 cheeses. I decided on 2 for this board just for size constraints. At the top left, we had a cream cheese with red pepper jelly on top, always a crowd pleaser.
For the second, I decided on just an aged English cheddar. Something simple that most people will feel comfortable eating because it is familiar.
You could also do an exotic cheese for the third if you did do three. For cheese, I generally try to have: a soft cheese, a regular cheese (i.e. parmesan, cheddar, pepper jack, etc.), and a “fancy” cheese for those that want to extend their palate.
For any cheese you do use though, make sure you go ahead and cut some off to get the cheese started. I find that makes people more comfortable to help themselves if a large block of cheese has already looked like someone else has taken the first slice!
I generally base the number of meats on the board with the number of cheeses. Honestly, I am not a super adventurous person when it comes to the meats, so some salami and pepperoni were all I needed really. Since we were only having 2 cheeses, this made it ok to only have 2 meats. You get the picture. 😉
When it comes to crackers, regardless of how many meats or cheeses I am serving, I like to have 3. The reason is because so many people have different cracker preferences!
For this party, I decided to do a regular cracker (Ritz), a nicer version of regular crackers (the cracked pepper crackers in the top right), and an exotic cracker (basil Parmesan crisps in the middle-left).
If you have any additional space, you could also do a bowl of spiced nuts (just make sure nobody coming has allergies!). This was some bourbon roasted pecans that were a huge hit.
That’s it! And really, how easy was that? 😃