I get a lot of questions from visitors to our store and the blog about entertaining and how to entertain guests without it becoming such a monumental effort that you can’t enjoy hosting friends.
One of my go-to plans when we entertain is to assemble some charcuterie boards. They sound fancy, look beautiful and taste even better. But this is something that doesn’t need to be overwhelming to you as a host.
So here are some tips on my favorite ways to do charcuterie that are visually appealing and delicious at the same time.
ASSEMBLING THE BOARD
I often do more than one board and place them around our sitting area so that guests can have something to nibble on wherever they might be. This is also a great way to offer multiple choices such as one board with savory items and another with dark chocolates and nuts, for example.
We have a selection of different sized boards at Patina Home & Garden and I like to do a few smaller ones, or one larger one to make a statement. Whenever I make a board, I don’t follow a strict plan and to me, that’s part of the beauty of it.
I will start by placing some small bowls in different areas and put nuts and dried fruit in them. It’s good to think about how to add color to the boards and use whatever is in season.
It’s fun to collect small bowls and different kinds of small knives so they aren’t all the same. I love small spoons, which add some flair to anything they are serving.
ADDING LOCAL PROVISIONS
Charcuterie boards are a great way to take advantage of things you can find at your local farmer’s market. We love the idea of starting local, and that’s how we began to stock our farm shop. We wanted as much of it as possible to be local. We have local cheeses from Noble Springs and work with different people who make delicious nuts such as bourbon pecans or spicy whiskey pecans.
We have our line of honey with our friends from the Greenwood Honey Co. which you can check out here.
We designed our bottle so that it would be beautiful enough to just pop on the board with a honey dipper for your guests to drizzle over a cracker with fresh goat cheese. We also have a honey jara available if you would like to add one of those to your board.
Closer to the spring, it’s great to add in some spring vegetables and fruits to a board. I also love dried fruit when the fruit isn’t at peak season. Dried apricots or cranberries add some beautiful color and texture to a palate of cheeses.
I think it’s a good idea to have some variety of cheeses, like mixing some hard cheeses and soft cheeses. For this board, I topped some Noble Springs Goat Cheese with a hot red pepper jam for a tasty pop of color & spice!
Of course, sliced meats such as salami or pepperoni add a nice flavor to a board as well. We also carry flavored butters at our store that make a great combination to a crunchy baguette or sourdough loaf.
DON'T OVERTHINK IT!
Those are some of my tried-and-true tricks! Whatever you decide to assemble, have fun with it. Start with a board and some small bowls and just begin to add to it. As long as you have a little variety and enjoy the process, your charcuterie board will be amazing. There aren’t really any rules to follow. Just keep it fresh and simple.
If you would like a little help getting started or learning what can elevate your creation from just cheese and crackers to a charcuterie masterpiece, I will be hosting a charcuterie board class at Patina Home & Garden in Leiper’s Fork on March 13th from 5-7 pm.
For more information or to register, click here. I would love to meet you and would love to share photos of charcuterie boards you create after spending a little time learning the best tips and tricks to make them fabulous – and easy!
Do you have any tips to make entertaining a little less overwhelming? I would love to hear them in the comments!