Whether it is as dessert for a regular meal, a family gathering, a holiday platter, or a full-blown celebration, a charcuterie board can add fun to any and every mealtime. Let us begin by understanding what a charcuterie board is and more, followed by some brilliant ideas to try out this summer.
What Is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie is originally a french tradition, and so is the word “charcuterie,” translating to “pork butcher shop.” Charcuterie, in traditional terms, is a form of art that deals with preparing and assembling cured meats and meat products, including sausage, ham, bacon, and other pork products.
However, the idea of charcuterie today is no longer just a part of French tradition. Still, it has become widely popular all around the globe, leading to the evolution of the term “charcuterie” to include a variety of other foods, not just meat. A modern charcuterie board is most likely to be an assortment of good cheese, meat, olives, fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, dips, etc., all creatively arranged on a serving board. However, limitless freedom in what and how one chooses to arrange a charcuterie board, the only limitation is your imagination and food preferences.
Below are some of the best summer board ideas you must look at to build the perfect charcuterie experience.
Grilled Steak Charcuterie Board
Hot summers are well spent on the lake, away from the kitchen, with some grilling on the menu. This grilled steak charcuterie board is all about grilling outside with family and having a dreamy summer evening.
Total time – 65 minutes (cooking + prepping)
Servings – 8
- 4 NY Strip Steaks (1-inch thick and 10-12 ounces each)
- Sliced orange, red, and yellow bell peppers (2 each)
- A bunch of trimmed asparagus ends
- Three sliced zucchinis
- Four corn ears (each cut in half)
- Pineapple and watermelon slices (8 each)
- Garlic powder (1 tbsp)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Oil for the grill
- Fresh herbs for garnish
For steak marinade
- Oil (¼ cup )
- Balsamic vinegar (¼ cup )
- Worcestershire Sauce (¼ cup )
- Garlic cloves minced (2)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- In a bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to it. Pour this marinade into a plastic bag along with steaks and refrigerate for an hour or half.
- Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and set aside. Turn the grill to medium to high heat and oil the grates well. Place fresh fruits and vegetables on the grate and frequently rotate to avoid overcooking. Cook the fruits for 2-3 minutes until heated through, and grill marks become visible. Cook the vegetables for about 15 minutes until tender.
- After removing the fruits and veggies, turn the grill to medium, place the steaks on it, cook for 10-15 minutes, or until your desired doneness.
Arranging The Charcuterie Board
Begin by arranging grilled fruits and vegetables around the board corners, followed by steak in the middle. Fill the rest of the board space with fresh herbs, sauces like pesto, or compound butter.
Summer Stone Fruit Cheese Board
Fruits and summers go hand in hand, certainly something a fun summer charcuterie board cannot miss. Let’s see how to make a perfect cheese board, oh yes, along with the fruits, of course.
Total time – 15 minutes
Servings – 6
- Two peaches
- Two nectarines
- Four apricots
- Berries (1 cup)
- 2 oz blue cheese
- Two tablespoons honey
- 12 graham crackers or others
Slice all the stone fruits on a cutting board and arrange the same alongside blue cheese, honey, crackers, among other dips on the charcuterie board. And you’re done!
Ice Cream Sundae Board
Talk about ice cream, and everyone starts reminiscing about the summers spent with friends and the fun ice cream parlor trips. Let’s see how to build the perfect ice cream dessert boards for this summer season –
- Pints of your favorite ice creams
- Whipped cream toppings
- Sprinkles, maraschino cherries, chocolate chips, crushed oreo cookies, copped peanuts, mini peanut butter cups, gummy worms, crumbled health bar, etc.
- Sauces like hot fudge, marshmallow, caramel.
- Waffle cones and bowls, cake cones, etc.
- In the middle of the board, place a galvanized bucket and wait until serving time to place ice and ice cream in the same, as you do not want either to melt before the time at room temperature.
- Place the waffle cones, bowls, cake cones, etc., in one corner of the board.
- In mini serving bowls, place all the ice cream toppings and arrange the same around the bucket.
- Heat the sauce jars according to jar direction and place the same at the bottom of the board carefully.
- You may place the whipped topping on or near the board.
- When serving, place the ice cream containers in the galvanized container along with loads of ice to keep them frozen. Put multiple ice cream scoops in them, and voila!
Movie Night Charcuterie Board
One does not need to try it to know whether or not a snack bar board can make up for an entire meal. Well, at the very least, it can make for a movie night snack party with family.
- Sliced apple
- Swiss cheese slices
- Cheddar cheese slices
- Popcorn, freshly popped
- Caramel corn
- Animal crackers
- Chocolate covered animal crackers
- Gummy bears
- Chocolate candies
- Cinnamon teddy shaped graham crackers
- Cover the entire board or any platter you are using with parchment paper.
- Over the parchment paper, place small bowls in an arrangement you prefer.
- Now fill each bowl with caramel corn, popcorn, peanuts, candies, etc. Now around these bowls, arrange cheese slices.
- As for the rest of the snacks, you may fill them directly onto the tray in any convenient pattern. Serve and enjoy!
While the above mentioned are just four charcuterie ideas, you may add or omit ingredients per your preferences and availability, making a charcuterie board unique to you. Making a unique set of charcuteries with your favorite foods from a grocery store and secret recipes is not too bad of an idea either. A charcuterie board does not require breaking the bank to be fun, so try it the next time you plan a small get-together with friends and family.