When it’s festive time, you always feel the need to whip up a beautiful meal and invite people over. You could want to cook for your friends, your significant other, or simply for yourself. But let’s face it: cooking a meal might seem super tedious. Do you want to do something fun and creative instead? This Valentine’s Day, ditch cooking completely and create a charcuterie board to experience an explosion of different flavors all at once.
Putting together a charcuterie board is a super romantic thing to do, especially because it looks very elegant and is perfect for a classy date. The prep barely takes any time and there is no limit to what you can add to it. Let us tell you some things about how you could put together a charcuterie board for the big V-Day celebration!
What Exactly Is A Charcuterie Board?
A charcuterie board is basically a meat version of a cheeseboard. It consists of succulent meats that are cured or smoked along with cheeses, nuts, fruits, dips, and desserts. The key to creating a beautiful charcuterie board is to make it look as vibrant as possible. Using bright colors that stand out will make it look interesting. On the other hand, you can exercise your creative freedom by adding items of various textures that complement each other.
How To Put Together A Charcuterie Board?
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to putting together a charcuterie board. Trust your instincts and try putting together different things that you think might go together. Thinking out of the box while putting together a combination of ingredients in various patterns will help you to create a board that you won’t be able to resist devouring. Let us go step-by-step and try to create a tasty board of food for this holiday.
- Select A Board
This task is a no-brainer. You can either use the wooden cutting boards and trays that you might already have in your house or you could simply order a wooden board online from any website. To be honest, you could work with any flat surfaced utensils you own, as long as the whole arrangement looks classy.
- Add Meats
Once you have a nice board, all you need to do is add the food items and arrange them properly. Let us start by adding meats as they are the main ingredient of any charcuterie board. A good board will have at least 3-4 different kinds of meat which will magically enhance the flavors of the board.
We recommend that you go with some nice variations of salami. You could add some slices of pepper salami or Italian dry salami to titillate your palate. Rolled-up pieces of prosciutto and ham also go really well on a charcuterie board.
- Add Cheese
Don’t incur the wrath of cheese lovers by forgetting to add cheese to your board. You can serve both soft cheese options like Camembert or Brie or harder, firmer types of cheese like blue cheese. Cheese varieties like Parmesan, Cheddar, Appenzeller, Gruyere, Havarti and the likes can never disappoint you. You can have fun with your cheese by choosing to serve it in the form of slices, blocks, cubes, or even wedges.
- Add Bread And Crackers
You need a sturdier item on your board to carry your meats and cheese. You can experiment with different textures of bread and crackers and see what works for you. If you want to have a harder type of bread, you can add a few slices of toasted baguettes to the board. On the other hand, breadsticks or crackers will give you all the crunchy delightfulness you need.
The thumb rule would be to add at least 4-5 different kinds of bread and crackers. There are so many interesting types of crackers that boost the taste of the meat as well as cheese. You could go with some flaky buttery crackers, thin crackers, or even some grain-based crackers.
- Add Pickles And Dips
Adding small portions of jellies, mustard dips, olives or dill pickles across your board will increase the intensity of flavors on the board. The acidity of the pickles and the sweet blast of the jellies really bring together all the different kinds of meats, cheese, and bread.
- Add Fruits And Nuts
If you want a refreshing element on your boards, fruits are the way to go! Wondering about what fruits to add to your beautiful charcuterie board? The answer is quite straightforward! Use the fruits that are in season and extremely easy to find. Grapes, strawberries, cherries, and apples are some of the obvious choices. Dried fruits such as plums, apricots, dates, and crunchy nuts like almonds, pistachios, or walnuts are easy to procure throughout the year and taste excellent with the other items on your board.
Use some herbs to garnish your boards and voila! You have finished building an elegant yet simple charcuterie board!
Useful Tips To Make Your Charcuterie Board Look Attractive
- Use Colors That Pop-Out
Make sure that you use brightly colored food items that pop out and make your board look super vibrant and cheerful. Fruits will generally help you a lot when it comes to adding colors. Always remember that your food will seem more appealing if it looks beautiful. Pair your reds (cherries, strawberries) and greens (grapes, herbs) together.
- Use Texture To Make Your Board Interesting
You want to have food items with a variety of textures in order to balance out the board. Add soft and silky ingredients like cheese which go well with bread that are harder in nature. Crispy, buttery crackers pair up beautifully with moist items like jams and jellies. Meat is your king, make sure you include a wide range of meats on your board.
- Use Different Flavors To Balance The Palate
Don’t make your board boring by including just one type of flavor on it. If you eat something spicy (like pepper salami), you need something sweet (fruits, chocolates) to balance it out. Similarly, you need to have savory items like meats and cheese to really make it into a whole meal.
- Use Holiday Themes
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you can very well incorporate the romantic aspect of this holiday in your board. You can include red- and pink-colored foods like cupcakes, cookies, candies, fruits (strawberries covered in chocolates), or any other items that remind you of love. You can arrange your food in a heart-shaped design. You can get a little bit creative and roll up your meats so that they look like roses. Lastly, don’t forget to include various types of chocolates and end your charcuterie board meal with a delicious wine.
Related: Celebrating Black History Month With Soul Foods
Our Thoughts On Charcuterie Boards
Charcuterie boards will never go out of fashion. You don’t have to order fancy-looking meals nor do you have to struggle and cook throughout the day to impress someone. The simplicity and the affordability combined with the elegance of the food items included on the board just make it the right choice for you. Whether you are dating someone or not does not matter, a gorgeous charcuterie board will literally take your breath away this Valentine’s Day!
See Also: How To Cook A Budget-Friendly Valentines Meal| 4 Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats With Chocolate| 4 Romantic Valentine’s Day Meals To Celebrate Your Love For Food