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Charcuterie Boards 3 Ways

If I were stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing to eat, it would be a charcuterie board.  I know you can agree.  I mean, is there anything better?   Pinterest has all kinds of ideas for charcuterie or cheese boards, and while they are gorgeous and fun for big parties, sometimes you want a board just for you.  Smaller boards are great for cocktail parties too when you don’t want your guests to gorge themselves on a large spread before you serve dinner.  When I’m putting together a charcuterie or cheese board, the first thing I think about is who will be eating it.  If you have foodie friends coming over then, by all means, serve different types of charcuterie and stinky cheeses.  For the majority of people, I’ve found they prefer “regular” type charcuterie like hard salami or pepperoni and mild cheeses such as white cheddar or Manchego.  I love paté and for a long time, served that on my boards for parties until I got tired of throwing most of it away.  Ingredients for boards aren’t cheap, so think about your guests when building your boards and your wallet with thank you.Most charcuterie or cheese boards include nuts, mainly Marcona almonds.  Marcona’s are salty, and you can’t eat just one EVER.  Homemade roasted mixed nuts are a terrific option not only because they are quick to make, but my house end up smelling amazing too.  You can find the recipe below.  The nut mixture pictured has some agave and cinnamon, so it provides a little sweet with the salt. YUM!  Olives are another staple, but I think they are best suited for a board heavy on the meats due to their brininess.  There are so many delicious olives to choose from so pick what looks good at the olive bar.If you want a cheese board less the charcuterie, use herbed goat cheese balls in addition to a truffled cheese and Apricot jam.  Fig jam is another good one for boards, but I prefer Apricot with cheese because it tastes brighter on the palette to me than fig jam.The board above is my all-time favorite board. I eat this on a regular basis especially when my family is out for various activities over dinner time.  It’s especially enjoyable with a bottle of Chianti Classico.  This board has hard salami and soppressata with Beecher’s Cheddar and Tillamook Cheddar.  Basic charcuterie and cheeses but usually around the house, so it’s an easy board to make.  I almost always have fermented veggies and olives on hand too just for this purpose.  My rule of thumb is if you like it, it’s good for your board.  Experiment with different charcuterie and cheese and see what you can come up with to enjoy!

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