| By Kaleen Luu |

Try these easy steps to make your own charcuterie [shahr-kooh-tuh-ree] board at home if you’re tired of the same old nights in. Spice things up with these beautiful creations, which are traditionally a spread of cured or smoked meat, cheese, fruit and crackers. They make for an illustrious pairing with your favorite wine, and you get to customize exactly what you want!

Photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash

These beautiful charcuterie spreads have been popping up all over social media, and you can do it yourself! The quarantine blues has us all missing the days of going out with our loved ones, but this season, make some magic at home! They’re a sure bet to impress anyone.

Charcuterie boards are perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re with loved ones or happily alone, a charcuterie board is sure to lighten the mood. Plus, you’ll get to try your hand at plating, just like they do at fancy and upscale restaurants. Your friends will be blown away when you show off your pictures on social media, and they’ll definitely remember to request it as a party platter in the future. 

Those wine nights where you enjoy drinks, share funny stories and hang out with your friends? Consider them upgraded with the addition of a charcuterie board! It’s perfect for small nibbles as you enjoy yourself with loved ones.

So how do you prepare your own charcuterie board? It’s simple, fun and easy. It’s also gorgeous and much easier than cooking up anything complicated! 

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Easy to follow steps to make your own board!

First, you’ll need a wood board to set your food on. After all, what’s a spread without something to hold it on? Presentation is half the battle here, and we feast with our eyes first. Choose a board that’s big enough for your needs and let’s get started.

Now that we have that, let’s think about color and textures. A great charcuterie board has a variety of colors because we don’t want the food blending in with the board! This is where the fruit comes to shine. Stick to fresh fruit or incorporate dried berries, but try to opt for bright and vibrant varieties to give it a juicy pop of color. 

From luscious green grapes to ruddy raspberries, the choice is yours! Play with the textures for a more lively spread, and pile on the goodies! A charcuterie board should be bursting with a delicious array of fruit and other possibilities for your board are fresh herbs, olives and be sure to include some creamy dips and jellies.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. from Pexels

Make room for the star of the show….

So now here’s what makes it a charcuterie board: meat and cheeses! However much you put is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is three to four slices of cured meat per person. Some great options here would be thin rolls of prosciutto and peppery smoked salami. Mmm… 

Now hold on before you dig in. Don’t forget the cheese! Slice up the cheese beforehand so it’s easy to serve. Two ounces of cheese per person is a good amount to start with, and try to include a variety of hard and soft cheeses. They’ll provide a great contrast in texture and the varying depths of sharp cheeses to the milder options will be perfect for your charcuterie board. 

Finally, let’s include some crunch to the board, shall we? This is up to you. Whether you opt for some fragrant buttery crackers or crisp grain options, it’s for you to decide! Maybe provide some toasted sliced pieces of bread as well, and if nuts are up your alley, go crazy with that. 

Alright, that’s it! A few minutes of washing your fruit, slicing up your chosen cheeses and a beautiful charcuterie board is complete. Now, wasn’t that easy? Show off to your friends, pour yourself some wine. The night is yours. 

Read next: Three New LA Food Collabs to Keep on Your Radar

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