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How to Make Charcuterie Board – a Simple Step by Step Tutorial

Cheese, crackers, prosciutto, salami, fresh bread, and a bottle of wine … honestly, is there anything better? In my opinion, a charcuterie board beats any elaborate three, four or five course meals. On one hand, it’s so much easier, quicker, and less complicated to dish up, and on the other hand, it’s very unlikely that there will ever be a guest or family member who can’t find something they like on a rich cheese platter. (Spoiler: tips for vegetarians and vegans will be included in this guide as well.) And that’s why I’ m going to show you how to make charcuterie boards in 5 easy steps. And once you understand the basic principle for a nicely arranged charcuterie platter, you can make it in all sorts of variations. Bigger, smaller, vegetarian, vegan, healthy, for a buffet, as an appetizer or main course.  So, are you ready for this how to make charcuterie board tutorial?

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the 5 step how to make charcuterie board tutorial
The Easiest How to Make Charcuterie Board Tutorial

Planning, Shopping, Arranging – an Easy Meal for Guests, Family or Just for Two

The beauty of a charcuterie board is not only that you save on cooking. But you can shift 70 percent of the actual work to the days before. Because most of the work for a charcuterie board is planning and doing the shopping. Therefore, let’s start with that first step, the planning part.

Planning: What Do You Need to Think About Beforehand?

To keep arranging a cheese platter as simple and straightforward as possible, you should think about a few things ahead of time. For this purpose, I have collected a few helpful questions.

  • For how many guests or family members do I arrange the charcuterie board?
  • Which wooden boards or large plates do I have available? Can or do I want to arrange everything on one plate? Or do I prefer to make several small plates? (Then you might need some ingredients that are difficult to cut in half twice, e.g. a burrata, more salami slices for the salami rose, …)
  • Are vegetarians and vegans eating along and do I might need some extra ingredients for them? (E.g. vegan cheese, vegetable sticks, vegan dips, optional vegetarian salami or sausage).
  • Do you want the charcuterie board to be a main course or just an appetizer? (Accordingly, it should be larger or smaller and served with more or less bread and spreads.)
  • What fruits and vegetables are currently in season? (In addition to grapes, figs, pomegranates, berries, and other aesthetically pleasing fruits make perfect decorations for a charcuterie board).
  • Can I still buy fresh bread on the day of the charcuterie board, or would I rather use frozen baguettes and rolls, or do I want to bake my own bread instead?
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself beforehand: What kind of wooden boards or large plates do I have available?

Shopping: Don’t Forget Your Shopping List!

Okay, so once you’re clear on these questions, you can start writing your shopping list. I’ve put together a little basic framework for this, so that you know which things you absolutely need. The choice of the exact type of cheese, ham, crackers and so on is entirely up to you. Therefore the list and move to the next step of our how to make charcuterie board tutorial – the shopping.

Here’s What You’ll Need for a Beautiful Charcuterie Board

  • For a charcuterie board you should include at least three different kinds of cheese. Among them should be a hard cheese (e.g. Parmesan, Pecorino, mountain cheese), something classic (e.g. Cheddar, Gouda or Emmental) and a soft cheese (such as Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola). The more guests, the more cheeses you can serve up.
  • For the wow-effect, I like to include a salami rose on my charcuterie board. For this, you’ll need a salami that’s already been finely sliced. In addition, you can get a salami in one piece, as well as one to three different types of ham (e.g. Parma, Serrano, Prosciutto, Mortadella).
  • For the decoration, seasonal fruit such as figs, pomegranates, berries, tangerines and the like are perfect. The prettier the fruit, the prettier you can arrange your charcuterie board. And of course, any antipasti of your choice goes perfectly with it. For me, for example, olives can not be missing.
  • To fill up the remaining “gaps” on your charcuterie board you need some crackers of your choice, nuts (pistachios and honey-salt almonds are my favorites) and dried fruits if you like.
  • Last but not least, your charcuterie board needs some dips. On the one hand, anything that goes with cheese (cranberries, fig mustard, fig jam, …) is great for this. On the other hand, you can also serve dips and spreads, but you don’t have to put them on the charcuterie board. If they go well with the bread and your board is already full, you can put them next to it. The same goes for the butter. (PS: a salted butter or a sea salt butter pairs perfectly).

The How to Make Charcuterie Board Five Step Tutorial

So now that all the questions have been answered and the shopping is done, it’s time to arrange the charcuterie board. Even though you don’t have to cook anything for this easy meal, you should plan some time for it. From experience, a smaller board (like this one which serves about 3 people) takes me 45 minutes to an hour with all the cleanup. But especially if you’re making your very first charcuterie board, or you’re making it for several people, you should plan on more time. If you’re done half an hour early, it doesn’t matter. I mean the food can’t get cold.

And one more tip before we start with our how to make charcuterie board tutorial. Make sure your cheese is at room temperature when you start eating. So, get it out of the fridge at least an hour and a half beforehand.

Step 1: Prepare the board and place your cheese and bowls on it

Okay, let’s start with step number one of our how to make charcuterie board tutorial. If your wooden board is not food grade, you can simply trim some parchment paper lay it out on your board. Then, first place the cheese and small bowls on it. You will need the bowls for dips and. While doing this, consider that you will also need some space for your salami rose.

Step 2: Make your beautiful salami rose

Of course, if you don’t like salami, you can just skip this step. But I think that this pretty rose is a real eye-catcher. Everything you need for it in a narrow glass. There you can place the salami slices overlapping next to each other over the rim. Once you have three to four layers on top of each other, you can carefully turn it over and pull out the glass.

Step 3: Unwrap and portion the cheese and fill your bowls

Okay, let’s move on to step number three of our how to make charcuterie board tutorial. Now, you can already unpack the cheese and pre-cut it to a third. Then your guests don’t destroy the whole look when they cut it for the first time and it lowers the inhibition level to eat it. You can also fill the bowls with your jams, dips, and antipasti.

Step 4: Arrange the prosciutto

in step 4 of the how to make charcuterie board tutorial you should arrange the prosciutto on your board

The next step is to arrange the prosciutto in different places on your platter. It looks especially nice if you let it “flow” over your platter like a meandering river.

Step 5: Fill in gaps and remaining spaces with cracker, nuts, fresh and dried fruits

We are almost through our how to make charcuterie board tutorial and reaching the fifth and last step. At this point, you can fill in the gaps and the remaining space on your charcuterie board with crackers, nuts, fruit, and dried fruit. Finally, you can use the fresh fruit to decorate particularly spots on your board. And that’s it! We made it to through the final step of our how to make charcuterie board tutorial. It’s pretty easy, am I right?

Any further questions about the how to make charcuterie board tutorial?

I hope I was able to give you a good impression of how you can prepare a beautiful charcuterie board with this simple 5 step how to make charcuterie tutorial. But you might still have one or two questions regarding this tutorial. And I would be very happy if I can answer them for you. Therefore, write them in the comment section down below, send them to me by mail or as a message via Instagram.

And while we’re talking about Instagram. I have a story highlight there with many of the different cheese and charcuterie boards I’ve made over the past year. Be sure to check them out if you’re looking for more inspiration for pretty charcuterie boards.

In case I was able to motivate you to make your own charcuterie board and you share a picture of it on Instagram, I’d be thrilled if you tag me there (@julesbalancedrecipes).

But for now, have fun trying it out and bon appétit,

Jules

how to make charcuterie board in 5 easy steps

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how to make charcuterie board

The How to Make Charcuterie Board Tutorial

Julia Schmitt
Here's how you make your own beautiful charcuterie board in five easy steps. The easy tutorial enables you to make those charcuterie boards for every occasion whether it's for guests, as an appetizer, main course or buffet.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine international, Italian
Servings 3 servings*

Equipment

  • big wooden board or serving plate

Ingredients
  

must have ingredients

  • 3 or more types of cheese at least one hard cheese, one soft cheese and one classic that everyone likes
  • 100 g salami cut into thin slices e.g. 100g or 3.5 oz per rose
  • 1 not precut salami
  • 2-3 kinds of ham e.g. Parma, Serano, Prosciutto, Mortadella
  • antipasti e.g. olives
  • 1-3 dips for the cheese e.g. fig mustard, fig jam, cranberry jam, …
  • 1-2 kinds of crackers
  • 1-2 types of nuts e.g. pistachios, roasted cashews, honey-salt almonds
  • 1-3 kinds of dried fruits e.g. figs, dates, apricots
  • fresh fruits e.g grapes, figs, pomegranates, berries, tangerines

optional ingredients

  • butter, spreads, fresh bread, rolls, …

Instructions
 

Step 1: prepare plate, place the cheese and bowls on the board

  • Line the board with parchment paper if necessary. Place the cheese and bowls for dips and antipasti on the board while keeping in mind to leave enough space for the salami rose.
    step two place your cheese and small bowls on your board

Step 2: salami rose

  • Place the salami slices overlapping side by side on the rim of a narrow glass until there are three to four layers on top of each. Carefully turn the glass upside down so the rose rests on board and gently pull out the glass.
    How to make a salami rose for a charcuterie board

Step 3: unwrap and portion the cheese – fill the bowls

  • Unwrap the cheese, pre-cut to about one-third. Fill the bowls with the dips (jams, mustard, etc.) and antipasti.

Step 4: arrange the prosciutto

  • Arrange the prosciutto in various places on the board, if desired, let it “flow” over the board as a sort of meandering river. Slice the piece of salami and arrange it on the board as well.

Step 5: fill in remaining gaps with crackers, nuts, fruit, and dried fruit

  • Fill in gaps and remaining space on the board with crackers, nuts, dried fruit and finally decorate it with some beautiful fresh fruits.
    step 5: fill the remaining spaces with cracker, nuts and fruits

Notes

*The charcuterie board shown here is perfect for about three people. Especially with bread and a few spreads, this plate satiates three hungry adults as a main course.
Keyword charcuterie board, cheese, Cheese Board, meals for guests, Tutorial
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