There aren’t many parties or gatherings I host that don’t include a charcuterie board of some kind or another. They are quite simple to create, utlizing a few key categories, but they give the appearance of abundance and thoughtfulness.
A few weeks after moving into our new home this past summer, Clay and I decided with a few days notice to host a game night for all our friends. It was a chance to host for the first time as well as for our friends to see the new home. With it being post-dinner (I think we started around 8 pm so most people could put their kids to bed), I didn’t want to have anything super heavy but I knew since we’d be having drinks and hanging out for a few hours people would want something to snack on.
When people came in they were so excited about the spread of food. And truth be told, it took less than 15 minutes to throw it all together with zero cooking necessary (which is important to me when I’m hosting semi on the fly like that)! You don’t even need to form an extensive shopping list before you head to the store. Simply think in terms of these eight categories:
You want proportionate amounts of the cheese, meat, and crackers/bread category. The jams and honey should be chosen in conjunction with the type of cheese you’re serving, as they will most likely be eaten together. When putting together a seasonal board like this one, I rarely make a detailed list, rather I see what the store has in stock. Oftentimes they will have exclusive seasonal items, like a cinnamon crusted cheese below. Always, always, always shop those specialty seasonal items – even if it’s just one or two – to make your board fit the season!
Here’s a step-by-step progression of this particular charcuterie board I created. You can see the amount of each item and how quickly it fills up the board (and this one isn’t small!). For a larger group (8 or more) I normally have two board or accompanying plates out for additional items. You could also lay parchment paper down on your table and fill the entire thing up! How amazing would that be?!
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite items to have on hand when creating your own charcuterie board. Trust me, you’ll want to build your collection of boards and small containers/bowls to serve in so you can always be ready to throw together something beautiful for your friends and family!
Photography by Liz Grogan