It’s no secret; I love a good charcuterie board. Around the holidays I always have a selection of local cheese, cured meats, spreads and crackers around so if company comes by on a whim, we can offer them a quick spread, with something for everyone.
Whether it’s a night in with friends watching Christmas Vacation over beers or a champagne-soaked New Year's bash, a meat and cheese board is my go-to.
My favorite part of a charcuterie board is how they seem to live by the rules of wabi-sabi, acceptance of imperfection. There’s no right or wrong way to lay it out and the more naturally placed the more appeal and stunning they look.
When it comes to shared plates, there are so many options to choose from; these are our must-haves for our holiday charcuterie plates.
In our home we love natural textures, wooden or slate boards, handmade pottery bowls that are just perfectly imperfect. Carved wooden spoons for jams and spreads. Mixing different textures will help to add visual appeal and set the mood for a cozy evening or an upbeat house party.
Offering different types of locally made cheeses is an outstanding way to spark a conversation around eating local as well as letting people try a variety of combinations of your spread.
Prosciutto, salamis, cured sausages like kielbasa or pepperonis are always a hit on share plates. These meats go well with everything on the spread and also last much longer than other deli meats in your fridge, so they’re great to have on hand.
Cashews, candied pecans, walnuts or slivered almonds great additions to your platter and are especially great if you have vegetarians joining you. Just remember to store your nuts in the fridge to keep them fresh.
We also include Sweet fruit to make the perfect pairing with the saltiness of salamis and cured meats. Fresh fruits like sliced apples, grapes, pears, persimmons, melons all make a beautiful addition to any meat and cheese board. We also like to include some dried fruits such as dehydrated apricots and sun-dried tomatoes for a unique spin on the classic.
Bread and Crackers
Bread and crackers are a staple on any charcuterie plate. The classic options like baguettes and water crisps never go out of style but with so many varieties available, it's good to think outside the box. Flatbreads, breadsticks and gluten-free option open a whole new world options.
Preserves | Spreads
Local artisan craft fairs are an amazing place to pick up unique jams and jellies to serve on your share plate. I usually start collecting in the summer in anticipation of later in the year when I will use them for our charcuterie plates, but if you’re running short on time the local grocery store is a great place to find items like this. Roasted red pepper jam, spicy jellies, hummus, pesto, tapenade will all bring out the flavors in the meat and cheese and let guests build their custom stacks.
Little bites of Deliciousness
When I make a shared plate for the holidays, I like to include little elements that people love. Garlic stuffed olives, cocktail pickles, stuffed spicy peppers, pickled beans are a must in my home. They add a little something extra to snack on without all of the cheese and crackers.
Wrap your unused meats and cheeses in Abeego to keep them fresh long after the party has ended. By wrapping them up in Abeego, you’re giving them the chance to breathe and ripen more naturally. Giving you a chance to enjoy them once again, as a light snack while curled up with your family watching Rudolph.
You may also enjoy these related Abeego blog posts:
- How to Slice & Keep Bread Fresh
- Sandwich Hacks
- Three-ingredient Homemade Pizza
- How to Make a Cheese Plate