Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Making a grazing cheese and charcuterie platter can seem daunting. Today I am going to take you through how I prep and plan out a platter in a few easy steps! Step #1 is always deciding on a theme. It can be something as simple as a color, a mood, or even a word. The board for today's post was inspired by all things Italian! (this was something my client shared with me to help guide the platter food choices)
Before we get started here are a few things you'll need before you begin making your very own grazing platter.
- Selection of cheese (I always like to use cheese from each types of milk: goat, cow, and sheep)
- Charcuterie of your choice: my favorites include La Quercia proscuttio, a good hard salami, and a spicy chorizo/ salami
- Fresh berries, fruit, olives, dried fruit, nuts, and something sweet (chocolate)
- Fresh herbs for garnishing: rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, sage, anything!
If you're anything like me the odds are probably in your favor that you stock most of the key ingredients in your panty/ fridge already!
Step 1: Clean and Dry
Prepping out your fresh produce is key to a successful board - wash and dray all your fruit beforehand! This will also give you time to pick through those gross berries and choose the cream of the crop
Step 2: Cheese Please
Time to cut the cheese! When you're picking out your cheese selection think of who you're going to be serving this to. For my Italian board I chose a selection of 7 cheeses - Manchego (sheep) Mozarella (cow), Boursin (cow), Spicy Cheddar (cow), Merlot (cow), Goat Gouda, Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese. Choose crowd pleasers if you're unsure which cheese to go with - a simple cheddar, a young manchego (3 or 6 month) and a rolled goat cheese log is always safe to serve! Aldi, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Publix usually have all 3 of these!
Make your cheese easy to grab and munch on - pre cut 90% of your cheese on your platter 100% would be ideal!
Step 3: Salami River
A salami river is the best way to center a focal point for your board. Try to make at least 1 turn in your river. You can see here I made 2 turns around the anti pasta salads in the center of the board.
Step 4: Cheese Placements
Now is the time to start placing your cheese selections on the board. I try to spread across the whole board so it's easy for everyone to pick from. Here you can see how I cut each cheese in a unique formation to add to the style of the board!
*Now is also the time to add in the proscuitto - think of it as tissue paper - its easy to stuff and fluff to add dimension*
Step 5: Fillers and Layers
Now that the board has been filled in with the main items it's time to fill in all the empty spaces. Use your nuts, dried fruit, sweets, and fresh fruit!
The Final Product!
*I did not put crackers on this platter as they get soggy when refrigerated, I always suggest placing these on the side*