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There is nothing better than a good charcuterie board!

When I was living in Italy, my absolute favorite thing on the menu was an ‘Antipasto’ plate. (Basically the same thing as a charcuterie.)  These small, handcrafted plates were full of interesting bites, seasonal food, meats & cheeses to pick from.  They were inspiring and delicious!

This easily became my favorite dish in Italy!

Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.  I took this tradition home with me and I love to make a beautiful charcuterie board for every gathering and get together.

When you think about it, it’s the ultimate appetizer!

Charcuterie plates are something that everyone can enjoy.  Both healthy and hearty options, with the ability to hand-craft every bite.  And since they involve little to no cooking, pretty much anyone can make it!  What’s not to love?! 

Plus, they are a pretty impressive appetizer to have on display!

Here’s my latest charcuterie plate that makes an epic appetizer for any summer get together!

FIRST, PICK AN AWESOME SERVING TRAY!

When you’re making a charcuterie plate, it’s all about the wow factor! 

And let’s be honest, we eat with our eyes first.  So get yourself set up with an awesome tray to build your beautiful charcuterie on! 

I think Target has an amazing selection of really cute serving trays at really great prices.  In fact, the live edge wood board I used in the picture above is from Target.  I get compliments on it all the time!

Here are some of my favorite serving trays you can get at Target- click on the pictures for links! 

THEN, SELECT THE STAR OF THE SHOW 

When you’re putting your plate together, it’s important to pick an item to be the star! 

So for my summer plate, I decided to let artichoke take the lead.

I cut one in half and charred it on the grill to use as a beautiful centerpiece and then made a dip out of the rest.

For the dip, I steamed the rest of the artichokes in the bunch and added a couple more ingredients to make a dipping sauce.

Let me just say, this creamy, garlicky artichoke dip was a HIT with my family.

Everyone came running back asking for more. Mission accomplished!

To re create this uhhhmazing dip- all you need are 4 simple ingredients:

  • steamed artichoke hearts
  • mayo
  • garlic
  • lemon juice

I promise you this dip will take your plate to the next level.  Looking back at these pictures makes me want more already!!

TIME FOR FRUIT! 

Although charcuterie plates are more commonly referred to as “meat and cheese” plates, don’t forget about the fruit!

Fruit adds a pop of color, extra texture and a refreshing bite to cleanse the palate. For my summer board, I chose apricots since they are a seasonal fruit.

Then I added kiwis, grapes, and oranges.  I wanted to keep the fruit in hues of greens and orange, but used the red grapes as an extra bold pop of color.

Fruit also adds healthy options to the board for those of your guests who are more health conscious.

Vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free- anyone can dig in!

NOW FOR THE CHEESE….

YASS CHEESE!!!

I’m a huge fan of Trader Joes, so I always end up picking up the cheese from TJs for my charcuterie plates!

I think they have a wide selection at really fair prices, so why go anywhere else?

Pictured above on the far left is their blueberry chevre goat cheese log.  Let me warn you, this cheese is like crack! (or what I assume crack would be like)  I could seriously eat the whole thing in one sitting!

Then to the right I picked a classic sharp cheddar cheese, because pretty much everyone can enjoy cheddar.  Kids will always go for this cheese first.

Unexpected cheddar in the upper right is truly an amazing cheese.  It’s a mix of cheddar and parmesan and the taste is just WOW!

Last but not least is my beloved Toscano cheese.  This is a light cheese dipped in Syrah wine and it goes well with pretty much everything.

Honestly, it’s impossible to go wrong with any of these cheeses.  They are all crowd pleasers!

 

MEAT, NUTS AND GARNISH!

I decided to use sage as my garnish since it’s a summer herb and has that beautiful, light green color that I was trying to showcase throughout my board.

Prosciutto will pretty much always show up on any charcuterie plate I make because it’s salty and delicious.  Also it pairs well with both fruit and cheese.

Salami is another staple.  People love salami, and they kind of expect it on a board.  So let’s give the people what they want!

Almonds always look great and make a great pairing with everything on the board. This will also make the healthy people happy!

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER AND WATCH THE MAGIC HAPPEN

Slice up the fruit, meat and cheese, put the artichoke dip together, place your artichoke and sage garnishes around the board and watch the charcuterie magic come to life before your eyes!

Also, watch how many people come running over to see if they can FINALLY start digging in now!?

To add extra height and organization to your board, get some mini dip bowls to serve toppings and dips.

I hope you LOVE this board as much as me and my family did.  I look forward to making these for every season and occasion.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite charcuterie toppings!

Love Always, xoxo C

 

MOUTHWATERING SUMMER CHARCUTERIE PLATE IDEAS