Summer Charcuterie Board

August 1, 2018

Summer Charcuterie Board

2 Comments

Summer Charcuterie Board

I love a good, artfully-arranged charcuterie board. In fact, I’ve become quite obsessed with collecting boards of various shapes, sizes and wood types. Charcuterie, which means ‘cooked meat’ in French, is typically a lovely assortment of cured meats, cheeses, crackers and flatbreads, dried and/or fresh fruits and olives, all arranged in a beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing way. In my opinion, a well-thought out charcuterie spread can stand in for a meal. With a good bottle or two of wine and a board that’s brimming with little gems of food ranging from salty to sweet, you can nibble, sip and mingle — and I’ll bet you won’t even miss the main course!

I’m big on cooking and serving seasonal foods as much as possible when I entertain. For this summer-inspired board, I thought it would be nice to offer lighter, less intense options, perfect for the hot summer weather. Wines such as a red blend, Pinot Noir or a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, are the perfect pairing to accompany a summer board like this one.

summer charcuterie board

 

summer charcuterie board

Here are a few of my favorite tips for arranging the ideal (and gluten free) charcuterie board, no matter the season!

  • Take cheeses out of the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving. This allows the cheese to bloom and also makes them much easier to cut or spread.
  • I usually like to stick with three cheeses. Go with a variety of flavors/textures. For example, Brie, Bleu and Parmesan or Aged Gouda.
  • Let the farmers market or your grocer’s produce aisle determine what fresh items you’ll include. If figs are in season, serve them with slices of salty prosciutto, as I did here. Clementine or mandarin orange segments are easy to find all year round. Apple wedges are also a versatile option.
  • If guests are a mix of gluten free and non gluten free, keep gluten free crackers and flatbreads in a separate basket to avoid cross contamination.
  • Most cured meats are naturally gluten free. Brands like Boars Head, Citterio and Columbus can be found easily at most grocery stores and are gluten free. Include a variety of meats, like dried salami, spicy soppresata and slices of imported prosciutto.
  • Add height to the board by placing small jars of jam or fruit preserves nestled among the assortment of food; don’t forget to include spreaders!
  • Place cheeses on washed and dried grape leaves or other edible, non-poisonous greens; this adds a nice pop of color to the board and also provides a pretty backdrop for the cheeses to rest on.

cheeses on grape leaves

For this summer-inspired board, which was purchased at West Elm, I included:

  • Peppery white cheddar cheese block
  • Garlic-basil Boursin soft cheese
  • Brie
  • Sliced nectarines
  • Fresh figs with slices of prosciutto
  • Mary’s original gluten free crackers and thin rice cakes
  • Fig jam and peach jam
  • Tangerine-Vanilla Cashew-Macadamia mix by Sahale Snacks

 

summer charcuterie board

summer charcuterie board


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