September 5, 2022
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A beautiful charcuterie board doesn’t have to be made with an overwhelming number of ingredients. In fact, sometimes boards can get messy and overwhelming with a large number of different options. Especially if you’re a beginner looking to build a simple charcuterie board that still gets compliments and feeds your crowd, follow these two easy steps.
Choose 5 ingredients that are likely to please most people
I was going to an outdoor concert that was BYOB and BYOF (bring your own food) I had committed to bringing a charcuterie board for our table. The location was rural and far from fancy grocery stores that carry a lot of specialty cheeses. I was also serving a range of ages and tastes, including kids, so I knew my ingredients were going to have to be straightforward. I chose two cheeses: Gruyere and Gouda; two meats: a hard salami (cut fresh from the deli), and a white wine salami; and one fruit: red grapes.
(Side note- if you aren’t sure which cheeses to choose, take a look at a few of these resources:
- Cheddar Cheese: A History overview and Varieties
- Gruyere Cheese: The Versatile Choice
I purposefully chose two mild, relatively soft cheeses that pair well with crackers, meat and are also good on their own. Cheese connoisseurs and kids alike tend to like both Gruyere and Gouda. Salami is a common choice for charcuterie boards and a pretty safe choice that most people will recognize. Finally, Grapes are wonderful because they don’t require any extra serving bowls as they’re already neatly bound with their stems. Cut them into small bunches and use them at the end to fill in any empty spots on your meat and cheese board.
Lay Out Your Simple Charcuterie Board Ingredients in Interesting Designs
This is where we turn a simple charcuterie board into a head turning one, while still using accessible, easy charcuterie ingredients. In this example, I cut both of the blocks of cheese into small triangles. One I laid out with the sides sitting on the board, alternating where the thicker end of the cheese slice was placed. The other I laid flat, fanning out to mimic leaves.
The larger salami was made into a flower shape by wrapping the pieces around the opening of a cup, then manipulating it into a flower shape. Check out this tutorial on making sliced meat flowers if you haven’t tried it before.
The rest of the sliced salami and the cured white wine salami I laid out in flower shapes flat on the board.
Finally, I cut my grapes into small bunches and filled in the open spaces on the charcuterie board to make it look full and cohesive.
And that was it! This board only took me about 20 minutes and was a hit with the adult and kid concert-goers. Keep in mind, you can also do a very sophisticated charcuterie board with 5 ingredients as well- think about adding a vintage cheddar, well-aged blue cheese, prosciutto, dates and mango slices, for example. Your imagination is the only limit- you don’t have to be an accomplished entertainer to put together a simple charcuterie board that is still gorgeous and a crowd pleaser!