Whether you are hosting a party, holiday celebration or just want to enjoy an evening in with your partner, quick and easy appetizers are the way to go. Who has the time or the patience to do complicated recipes? Not me. One of my favorite appetizers to serve are pretty meat trays. If you want to get all fancy you can call them a charcuterie board, platter or plate. They are one one of the best last minute appetizers but can get a expensive. Today I’m going to share how to make a mini version of the charcuterie board that is perfect for feeding a smaller crowd and won’t break your budget!
What is a Charcuterie Board?
The word charcuterie is french and roughly translated means cooked meat. It is from an age when meat was preserved before refrigeration and has been historically pork products so think of lots of salt cured and brined meat products like salami! That makes meat a must for any charcuterie platter. They work well to serve at parties and celebrations and pair well with wine and beer, although non-alcholic beverages are fine too!
What Kind of Board to Use for Charcuterie:
Typically I see a large, over-sized wood cutting board or butcher’s block used for a charcuterie board. I say work with what you have! You don’t have to limit yourself to one platter or one style. Multiple small platters with different textures or little bowls for holding small items works great. A beautiful white platter can also make your items pop.
What to Put on a Charcuterie Board:
Thin Cured Meats. Buying a large selection of meat can get expensive so I recommend getting a charcuterie meat variety pack. I purchased mine from my local warehouse club and it is a great value but you can also find them in deli section of your local grocer Mine included prosciutto, sweet soppressata and dry coppa salami.
Spreads: Something spreadable is a great way to add texture to your board and bring out flavors. This could be extra soft cheeses, pâté, mustard, chutney or jam. I opted for a strawberry jalapeno jam for a little kick.
Olives: You can choose one or more specialty olives to impress your guests. Pearls® Specialties makes it easy and has several great varieties to choose from including these blue cheese stuffed olives. Their pitted kalamata and garlic stuffed olives would also be great additions.
Nuts: Add a nice salty crunch to your charcuterie platter with some nuts. Pistachios are a family favorite so I included those in a small dish. I chose a sweet chili flavored pistachio which were hard to resist.
Crackers: A simple cracker is a must for pairing with your spreads and meats. Sliced bread is also a delicious choice.
- Fresh fruits like grapes, apples, berries
- Cheese in a variety of textures and sharpness.
This mini charcuterie board is easy to transport and assemble right before serving, making it a one of the best last minute appetizers. I plan serve one for our upcoming Easter dinner at my parent’s house. We typically eat our holiday dinners in the late afternoon so I like to bring an easy appetizer to help tide everyone over through lunch time. My mom is always warning me to not bring too much or everyone will be too full to eat her special meal. This smaller charcuterie platter is perfect!
Olives for sure be on the charcuterie board. Look for Pearls® Specialties as a great addition to your Easter or spring menus! Stuffed green olives make a good snack anytime and can be shipped directly to you from Amazon. Life is Better With Pearls®.