Tips from Cameron: The Perfect Holiday Charcuterie Board
This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a guide, including lots of tips from Cameron herself. We love this board for its simplicity, its beauty, and the fact that it pairs well with all six wines in our new Holiday Collection. Set this out on the table as you’re tasting with friends, or bring it to your next holiday gathering.
Choose a mix of your favorite cheeses, keeping in mind that a mix of textures and styles will add dimension and variety to your board. We like: 1) something sharp and nutty, like Gruyère or cheddar, 2) a light & smooth sheep's milk cheese like Manchego, 3) a softer, fluffier cheese (like Brie or a goat cheese), and 4) an option with a strong flavor, like an aged Gouda or Gorgonzola.
“I like to represent all the various consistencies and flavor profiles when it comes to cheeses, so there’s always a few to choose from.” - Cameron
If you don’t eat meat, we recommend upping the amount of cheese and produce to the board. Otherwise, we love these picks: 1) fennel salami, 2) prosciutto, 3) smoked trout.
We love these fresh elements incorporated throughout the board to add a nice mix of textures and flavors to every bite: 1) pomegranate seeds (we love breaking open the fruit and leaving the seeds intact), 2) sliced pears (fan these out for extra drama), 3) red grapes (even better if you can find a fun variety like Concord or Sweet Jubilee), 4) endive leaves (beautiful, slightly bitter, and delicious), 5) carrots (find smaller ones, and keep a couple inches of the tops on), 6) sliced golden beets (raw is fine if they’re sliced thin), 7) sugar snap peas (for a refreshing, semi-sweet crunch).
“My goal is for every bite to not only taste different, but to compliment the bites before and after.” - Cameron
Crackers (or a slice of bread) may just be the vessels on which the *real* magic happens, but it’s important to have a couple of options that will stand up to all the other flavors: 1) sourdough crackers (long and thin with the perfect snap), 2) almond flour crackers (for your gluten free friends), 3) thin sliced baguette (easy and classic), 4) 4ye bread (adds another depth of flavor—slice them into small wedges).
These spreads add an unexpected pop of flavor to each bite—we suggest combining a couple for peak deliciousness: 1) honeycomb (gorgeous on the platter, and perfect for cutting the salt), 2) fig jam (adds complexity to any bite), 3) beet hummus (or any other flavor you like), 4) grainy mustard (for a little savory spice).
“To complement the savory bits, it is required to have something sweet on your board. I didn’t make that up. It just exists as a universal truth.” - Cameron
These provide a touch of salt, brine and texture, plus they're an easy alternative to building an elaborate cracker loaded with stuff—not everyone has the patience for that. We suggest: 1) a mix of olives (we like castelvetrano and kalamata, but any will do), 2) cornichons (Cameron's must-have), 3) toasted nuts (we love crisping these up with a pan ourselves for a deeper nutty flavorr, 4) dried fruit (sour cherries, apricots and figs, especially).
“Another cheese plate must is adding something pickled. I like cornichons — those cute little miniature pickles that make you wonder, “what the heck are these things for?” Well, now you know.” - Cameron
To make your board extra festive, we suggest garnishing with rosemary sprigs, some smaller pine boughs or dried orange slices.
“Think of it as a playground for your taste buds.” - Cameron
Nice! Great ideas. Pretty too!11/16/22
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