Charcuterie Board

Sometimes the best cooking is no cooking at all, and that can be a lot of fun too as well as a change up in the kitchen.  I’m going to expand on the items found on a charcuterie board so that this will be more like an entire meal.  With the weather warming up nicely, you can sit outside with a glass of wine and then just pick away at your leisure while enjoying a relaxing unwind with good conversation.

When you’re putting together a board you want to consider getting a variety of flavors and different textures to stimulate your taste buds.  A few components that I enjoy are as follows.

Breads and crackers – I’m using a couple of baguettes to slice up and have as they are.  Sometimes I will toast them and other times I’ll even make them into a garlic toast.  There are so many varieties of crackers that you can have a field day choosing which ones to go on your platter.

Fruits and nuts – For this platter I have a pineapple to slice up into spears, grape clusters which are a perennial favorite, and some fresh raspberries.  Three different tastes and textures – all delicious.  For my nut choices I have gone with almonds and pistachios to add some nice salty contrast to the fruits.

Meats – I’m using an assortment of a few different kinds of salamis, a couple of hard sausages, a bit of pate and a Ukrainian kielbasa. 

Cheeses – I’ve got a nice mix of smoked Gouda, Brie and goat cheese with a cranberry coating.

An absolute on any platter I make is roasted garlic.  I roast it in the oven ahead of time in tinfoil at 350F.  Just cut the top off and pour some olive oil over the exposed garlic before putting in the tinfoil.  It adds great flavor.

Then I slice it up and arrange it on the platter.  This can be done well in advance and placed in the fridge as nothing needs to be kept warm.  It’s nice to know that there’s minimal clean-up afterwards.

A platter is a great way to experiment with some new flavors and have some old favorites at the same time.  Have fun with your choices and enjoy!

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