Charcuterie boards have become a party staple these days. As a dietitian, I am a huge fan of them, because when built correctly, you can really create a well balanced appetizer, snack or even meal! Today I am going to share with you how I build a nutrient dense charcuterie board from start to finish.
- Start with the cheese. Charcuterie boards are not nicknamed cheese boards for nothing. When building my charcuterie board, the first step is to find a few cheeses. I like to go for different texture profiles and choose cheeses with rich flavor, meaning that you don’t need too much of it! In this example I am using a soft herbed goat cheese, a manchego cheese and a truffle gouda. If you are serving some dairy free folks, you can swap one of these out for a nut based cheese instead.
- Add some crunch. Every good charcuterie board needs some crunch. I like to use one sweet and one savory cracker, which each can pair well with different toppings. Pro tip: add in sliced apples and cucumbers for a nutritious upgrade. These can serve as “vehicles” for the meat and cheeses, while providing some natural fiber and antioxidants. If anyone at your party is gluten free, try using an almond flour or seed-based crackers instead.
- Add in pickled foods. Much of the board is filled with rich, fatty flavors, so I always like to counteract that with some pickled foods. I am using marinated artichokes, mixed olives and mini cornichons in this example, but you can really use whatever you like!
- Add the protein. No charcuterie board is complete without the meat (rhyme intended). I am choosing to use Chomps Pepperoni Turkey Sticks. They provide a nice salty flavor and are a filling protein option that really brings this board together. I decided to cut them into smaller pieces to easily fit on a cracker, but you can leave them whole or even use the Chomplings smaller pieces.
Chomps are nitrate free and come from humanely raised animals that are never treated with antibiotics or hormones. By choosing a meat option that comes from a healthier animal, you will in turn feel like a healthier you!
- Fill the rest with fruit. As this is a dietitians take on a charcuterie board, I like to fill in the rest of the blank space with fruit. I am choosing fresh fruit pictured here (grapes, raspberries and gooseberries) since they provide more volume and are super refreshing and hydrating against the otherwise salty board. You can always add in some dried fruit as well if you prefer that, there is no wrong here! I would only recommend avoiding really “wet” fruit (think mango or pineapple), as the juices could leak on the board and make the crackers / cheeses soggy.