4 Charcuterie Boards That Will Satisfy All of Your Guests
DIY charcuterie boards are the easiest way to satisfy guests during both casual and upscale get-togethers. They're beautiful and easy to throw together, and they can be tailored to a wide range of food preferences. Whatever themes you choose, the key to a well-curated charcuterie board is balance. You want a variety of meats and cheeses, a little bit of texture, and accompaniments that complement one another. To help you get started, we're showcasing four different but approachable charcuterie boards — all paired with crowd-pleasing crispy, cheesy crackers. Now the only problem you'll have is choosing which one to assemble for your next party.
The Adventurous Board
The first board strays from your typical sliced-salami-and-cubed-cheddar charcuterie board. Instead, try rounding up some unexpected cheeses like Roquefort (a variety of blue cheese) and truffled Gouda, which are both more dominant cheeses. Next, add thinly sliced mortadella, which is Italy's version of bologna, studded with pistachios. This pairs perfectly with pungent pickled beets and swiss-cheese-and-black-pepper crackers with a little kick. For another tasty pairing, try guanciale — another Italian cured meat — alongside briny olive tapenade.
This adventurous plating deserves a drink that's equally creative. An Aperol spritz is a trendy drink that pleases many palates and has some Italian roots to it, but it's still easy to throw together on a whim.
The Cheese-Heavy Board
If you're a cheese aficionado, then this charcuterie is for you. With a broad assortment of cheeses, this selection covers everything from semi-soft goat's milk varieties to nutty hard cheeses that have been aged for months. The mildest of the bunch — whipped ricotta — is made by taking store-bought ricotta and whipping it up in the food processor until smooth. Buttery triple-crème brie and Humboldt Fog are similar because they are both soft-ripened, but the Humboldt has a more intense flavor and is made with goat's milk, while the brie is much milder. Both are natural partners to ripe pear and salty prosciutto. Aged Gouda is the last and most pungent addition. Because it's heavily aged, it almost mimics a nutty parmesan cheese and would be perfect alongside a variety of crispy, cheesy crackers.
Wine and cheese go hand in hand, but special occasions call for a little bit of bubbly. A sparkling Rosé would be the perfect finishing touch to this cheese-heavy board.
The Spanish Board
If Spanish tapas are your thing, look no further than this Spanish-inspired board. It's filled with mild Manchego and Iberico, two cheeses found in any classic Spanish tapas restaurant. Another staple is jamón serrano, which is Spain's version of a dry-cured ham and is widely available in most local grocery stores. Try nestling salty green olives, chewy dried figs, and sweet apricot jam between the meats and cheeses for a little bit of texture. A variety of mild cheddar, smoked Gouda, and swiss-cheese-and-black-pepper crackers rounds everything out with a delicious crunch.
Serve with a classic red-wine sangria and you've just created the quintessential Spanish soirée.
The Budget-Friendly Board
Creating a killer charcuterie board doesn't have to break the bank, and with a couple of strategic but affordable elements, it can and will look like a million bucks. Easy-to-find fresh mozzarella can be gussied up with a quick drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. For meats, artfully layering together thinly sliced salami and pepperoni from the deli makes a big impact. Add texture with a variety of cheesy crackers, crisp apple slices, and zesty pickles — they're the perfect way to finish off this cost-effective spread. Ingredients for a vodka gimlet are already lurking on most people's bar carts, so it's the perfect cocktail to keep your budget in check.