In my opinion, a charcuterie board is one of the simplest and yet most elegant looking appetizer options for a holiday party. For those that don’t know, charcuterie is a French word for a collection of smoked, dry cured or cooked meat, usually accompanied by some other complimentary food items. Creating one of these couldn’t be simpler. For the party hostess its a real time saver while still looking chic and sophisticated.
How to Make a Festive Charcuterie Board:
One: Start with a large wooden cutting board. If you don’t have one you can also you a large platter or even use a piece of butcher paper to create your food scene.
Two: Pick a meat of your choice. I prefer Johnsonville Summer Sausage, which is a type of hard dried and smoked sausage similar to salami in preparation but can be kept without refrigeration. Plus, it tastes amazing and is easy to purchase at my local grocery store. You can cut them into slices, like I did, or even into chunks to be picked up with a toothpick. Be sure to remove the outer paper if you cut them into chunks.
Three: Pick a couple cheeses to accompany the meats. I’m a big cheese fan, so slices of Havarti, chunks of provolone, and wedges of brie are some of my usual go-to options. But really almost any cheese will do. Go with something that is a little more solid than a feta or blue cheese (unless it’s a spread and you’re including a spreading knife.)
Four: Next comes the olives. I like using a mix of both black and green olives. Ones that come already in a little olive oil and with some seasonings are the best. Opt for a few more green olive options if you are making a Christmas board. I also like to feature olives of different sizes to add an interesting visual element.
Five: Pick a few other fruits or even vegetables to go with your board. I’ve used slices of granny smith apples, cherry tomatoes, grapes, mini peppers, sweet baby pickles, etc… The options are endless – just opt for little items that are able to be eaten in one bite and can be picked up with either a toothpick or your fingers without causing a mess.
Six: (Optional) Add a skinny sliced loaf of bread or some of your favorite crackers that can easily be used as a bottom layer for a mini sandwich when stacking some sausage and cheese together.
Seven: Take all the various elements and arrange them on the board in an artsy way, mixing colors across the board so the eye (and the stomach) travels easily across the board’s contents. Place toothpicks in easy to reach location, if needed. Congrats on completing your charcuterie board.
Interested in viewing recipes and videos about Johnsonville’s Summer Sausage? You can check out the website, which also includes an online store where you can get it delivered right to your door in time for the holidays – no grocery store lines needed.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.