Many people hear the word charcuterie and run, but don’t let that fancy reputation scare you away. We asked Jim Wilson, Manager of our Downtown Crossing Deli to give us some ideas for creating an easy Charcuterie platter at home.
“A simple, sure to impress option for summer gatherings is the charcuterie board. It’s actually quite easy to throw together a high-class hors d’oeuvre offering with minimal effort.
The focus of any charcuterie board is, of course, the meat. Prosciutto is a favorite in any crowd – ask your deli associate to slice it as thin as possible for best flavor and texture. A nice Capicola will give your platter a splash of heat. Salamis such as Genoa or Sopressata, sliced thickly will give you a kick of smoky flavorings with a hint of peppercorn.
When choosing cheeses, it’s always nice to have a few varieties to go with each different texture. Try a soft, gooey camembert, a pungent gorgonzola, with a sharp, matured cheddar to get a variety that covers all bases.
A classic go-to for any charcuterie board is cornichons or gherkins. Mix it up with pickled onions, or add a small bowl of spiced olives or artichoke hearts.
Sliced French Baguettes, crostini, or multi grain crackers add a vessel for guests to mix, match, and layer all of the delicious components of the board.
Sweet and savory spreads such as mustards, chutneys, fruit compotes, or honey pair great with all elements of the charcuterie board.
Dried fruit like apricots or figs, assorted nuts like walnuts or almonds, or crisp, fresh fruits like pears will bring an unexpected flavor burst.
Arrange all these delicious components on a large wooden cutting board, top it off with some garnishing greens like arugula or watercress and you’ve got a charcuterie platter worthy of the fanciest of events.” – Jim Wilson, Downtown Crossing Deli Manager