How to Make an Affordable Charcuterie Board
When you hear the term "charcuterie board," it probably sounds lavish and expensive. It simply means a cold meat-and-cheese board served as an appetizer. You can also create a dessert charcuterie board. And here's a great surprise: they're easy to make on a dime.
Charcuterie boards are budget-friendly because they’re actually made up of small portions of many different fresh and savory items. A charcuterie board is really a taste adventure, according to Foodandwine.com. Here are a few simple charcuterie board ideas that’ll look like a million bucks on your table.
- Use leftovers to create a charcuterie board. If you have a few olives left from another dinner, put them in a tiny bowl or scatter them on the board. Do the same with leftover cubes of cheese, crackers from your cabinet, and sliced fruit. Put four pieces of crusty bread slices here, and three strawberries there, and keep going until you don’t see the bottom of the board or platter anymore.
- Use colorful items for an appetizing board. Charcuterie doesn’t mean plain old black olives, yellow cheese, and brown meats. Add color to your board with a few cherry tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, and green grapes.
- Roll up deli meats for an elegant look. Three rolled pieces of regular ham look as elegant as three pieces of prosciutto.
- Use salad dressings and hot sauces as dips placed in tiny bowls. From Russian dressing to Italian, and from ranch to Caesar, you’ll satisfy many different tastes.
- Buy small sample bags of expensive items. You can buy a little bag of costly pistachios or macadamia nuts to give your board more gourmet appeal.
- Add in pickles. Buy the smallest, least expensive jars of a different types, including mini dills, bread-and-butter slices, and gherkins, and they’ll add texture and heft to your board.
- Look for cheese sold as ends at the deli counter. Many deli counters package cubed leftover cheese ends. These little packages of cheeses left from larger blocks are priced to sell, making perfect inexpensive additions to your board.
- Make your own mini-appetizers to put on the board. Spread cream cheese on a cracker and add a round of pepperoni for a homemade touch.
- Assemble a kid-friendly board. Give kids savory treats to pick, like a variety of string cheeses, shaped crackers, apple slices, and a melted chocolate dip. Avoid the nuts on this type of plate.
- Build a dessert charcuterie board. Treat guests to samples of everything sweet. Shop your pantry for leftover cookies, nuts, candy, and sweet chocolate. Add in a few mini cupcakes from the store. Include seasonal fruits like cherries and berries.
A couple more no-nonsense charcuterie board tips: ask for super-thin meat slices at the deli counter. Have at least three to five different cheeses on the board, too. If you have room to spare, arrange a couple of pretty celery leaves or parsley sprigs to take up space. Have fun when building your charcuterie board, and visit Foodlion.com for more elegant platter ideas for the holidays.