Keys to Making a Great Charcuterie Board
- The key to a great cheese board is to make it look abundant! If your cheese board doesn’t look great, it is probably too empty. Adding more will help fill in any gaps.
- The second most important thing to keep in mind when making a cheese board is that you want large groups of ingredients. When you look at our cheese board, your eye immediately goes to the big groups of grapes right in middle, then moves around.
- If you were to mix these all together, they would start looking like trail mix and not a distinguished cheese board— fill in gaps with fillers but keep main ingredients (cheeses, fruits, crackers, meats) in large groups.
- A good rule of thumb is that groups of main ingredients (cheeses, fruits, crackers, and meats) should always be at least as big as your first in a ball— this will ensure they don’t get lost in the fillers.
How to Create a Halloween Cheese Board
First, place a few small bowls and pumpkins evenly around your cheeseboard. The exact number you need will vary but when placed together, they should take up about ¼ of your board.
Next, add your cheeses. Again, spread them out over the board filling in any holes around the bowls and pumpkins. Remember to work in odd numbers like 3 or 5.
Next, add your largest bunch of fruit right in the center. Add 2-3 more smaller piles of fruit around the board.
Next, add your crackers and sliced baguette. Try to form “c” or “s” shaped curves with your crackers. This will help create a flow that will carry your eyes around the board. Now add your cured meats to fill in large gaps.
Start adding fillers to the bowls and gaps until the board is almost completely covered. If you see a hole, add more fillers! There is no right or wrong place to put fillers.
Lastly, give your board some personality or a theme, like Halloween! Adding candy eyes and fake spiders can help take the cheese board from cute to creepy!
Some additional tips and notes:
Brie, Havarti, Cheddar, Colby Jack and Mozzarella are cheeses that both kids and adults love so they’re always a safe bet for a cheese board. As an appetizer, expect an adult to eat between ¼ and ⅓ of a pound of cheese. So for a party of 10, 2 ½ – 3 lbs. of cheese divided evenly. For example: 1 pound of brie, 1 pound of Havarti, and 1 pound of mozzarella.
You can really use any fruits that you have on hand. Strawberries, figs, pears, apples, and plums are all great fruits to add to a cheese board. The possibilities are endless.
As an appetizer, plan for adults to eat a little less than ¼ pound of cured meat. So, for a party of 10, 2 lbs will be fine. We divided the meat between the two types: 1 lb. of prosciutto and 1 lb. of salami.
You can use any kind of crackers you like: Ritz, Water Crackers, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, etc. Include some freshly baked bread, like a baguette also. For a party of 10, 1 baguette and 1 box of crackers will be plenty.
This is where you can add your favorite garnishes. I’ve suggested a few but feel free to pull anything you have in your pantry or fridge. Jams, mustards, pretzels and nuts are great options. There is no rule of thumb on the exact amount of filler you add to the board. Just be sure to fill it until the board looks plentiful.
CHEESES: (see post for amounts based on number of servings)
- Mozzarella Balls
- Something Stinky (Roquefort or Camembert)
- 1–2 bunches of grapes
- 1 cup fresh Blackberries
- 1 cup dried apricots or figs
MEATS: (see post for amounts based on number of servings)
CRACKERS/BREADS: (see post for amounts based on number of servings)
- Water Crackers
- Sliced Baguette
- 1 Cup mixed olives
- ½ Cup cornichons
- ¼ Cup pistachios
- ¼ Cup fig or apricot jam
- ¼ Cup grainy or Dijon mustard