How to Make a Charcuterie Board or a Grazing Table
My daughter is especially gifted at putting together beautiful boards (she’s on the right in the photo with one of her besties).Charcuterie is traditionally preparing and assembling cured meats. It has evolved to include meats, cheeses, breads, olives, nuts, and fruit. It’s all artfully arranged on a board. The artful part takes practice, I’ve discovered!In my Book Magic Mysteries, Devil’s Cove has a cheese shop called Charcuterie. In Murder at Sea Captain’s Inn, Pippin meets the owner of the shop, who ends up being instrumental in Pippin’s search for the truth. This “recipe” is in the back of Murder at Sea Captain’s Inn. I've recently started taking the idea of Charcuterie Boards and turned them into Grazing Tables. They are so easy to set up and clean up.So, discover how to effortlessly elevate your next gathering with a stunning grazing table! Arrange delicious charcuterie, cheeses, fruits, and more, then sit back and let everyone graze. Get ready for a feast that's a true Pinterest-worthy masterpiece!First, a few tips. The goal is to balance flavors and textures that complement each other, and also contrast each other.You want to include a variety of textures, as well as sweet and salty elements. A spattering of dried fruits, such as cranberries, gives the board a pretty finishing touch. One or two smoked meat options are plenty.Adding crackers or sliced baguettes on the board or on the side is important.Fruit preserves are a fantastic compliment to soft bloomy cheeses like brie or camembert.Add little dishes of mustard or olive oil for added flavor.
- 2 or 3 meats like prosciuto dry salami, pepperoni, ham
- 3-4 cheese—consider those from the following list:
- A bloomy cheese like brie or camembert or Mt. Tam, one of my favorites
- Parmesan gouda, or asiago
- Gruyere cheddar, or manchego
- Softer cheeses like havarti
- Blue like gorgonzola
- Crumbly cheese like feta. I don’t love goat cheese but if you do, include it!
- 2-3 dips spreads, or other condiments (Whole Foods has a delicious cherry jam that goes beautifully with bloomy cheese), mustard, flavored olive oil, hummus, or baba ganoush (another of my faves!)
- Something briny like capers pickles, or olives (I like a variety of olives!)
- Other accents like nuts dried fruit, fresh fruit (grapes, thin slices of apples or pears, strawberries, blueberries), and chocolate
Step by Step Directions on How to Make a Grazing Table: Step 1: Plan the layout and theme of your grazing table. Decide on the size and shape of the table you want to use, keeping in mind the space you have available. Step 2: Gather the necessary materials and equipment. This includes a sturdy table or surface, tablecloth or covering, serving platters and boards, small bowls, knives, cheese graters, tongs, and skewers. I do mine on parchment paper right on my island. Step 3: Start with the larger items first (cheese wheels or large bowls of dips). Arrange them in a visually appealing manner. Consider height and color variations. Step 4: Add fresh fruits and vegetables. Wash and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in attractive bowls or on platters, grouping similar items together. Step 5: Add a variety of cured meats, such as salami or prosciutto. Fold or roll them to make them look fancy. Step 6: Add dips, spreads, and condiments. Place these in small bowls or jars and arrange them around the table. Provide spoons or knives for spreading. Step 7: Fill any empty spaces with nuts, olives, pickles, or dried fruits. These can be placed in small bowls or scattered around the table as accents. Step 8: Adding bread, crackers, or breadsticks are a nice complement to the other items on the grazing table. Place them in separate baskets or on a wooden board, or intersperse them in. Step 9: Everyone likes sweets! Add a touch of sweetness by including a selection of chocolates, cookies, or pastries. Place them in small bowls or on dessert stands. Step 10: Garnish the grazing table with fresh herbs, edible flowers, or citrus slices. These adds color and freshness to the overall presentation. Step 11: Step back and take in the beauty of what you've created. Make any necessary adjustments or additions. Step 12: Enjoy and indulge in the delicious variety of food on the grazing table while socializing with your guests! Tips: Fold the pieces of meat by folding in half, then in half again, the pinch together to make them like little fans. Put the bloomy cheese out whole. Put chunks of the other cheeses. Put mustards, dips, and other condiments in cute little dishes. njo