After all the shopping, planning, cooking, wrapping, and decorating, it's finally time to close the door and dig into cozy time spent with your loved ones to enjoy it all. This is why I like to balance out my more elaborate meals with some no-stress, no-cooking ideas to have on tap for the holidays. Not quite ready for dinner or don’t feel like making another fussy meal? Open up a good bottle of wine and set out a charcuterie board with some holiday touches. Happy holidays to you (and me)!
STEP 1: Start by placing small bowls or ramekins on your board or platter. These are for things like nuts, olives, mustards, dips, etc. We like to use Marcona Almonds, Edmond Fallot Mustard, and L'Épicurien Jams.
STEP 2: Place your cheeses and crackers or flatbreads that pair together near them. When choosing your cheeses, think about varying the textures and flavors from buttery to nutty, creamy to hard. DLM Cheesemonger Maritza Cuellar-Crowdy has a fun way to set the framework for her board. "... I think of a rhyme I once learned. Something old, something new, something goat, and something blue." Some of our go-to selections include Parmigiano-Reggiano that's complex in flavor and studded with crunchy crystals, bold, sharp Barber's 1833 Vintage Cheddar, velvety and creamy Saint Angel Brie, Le Papillon Roquefort, which has a big personality and wonderful flavor, and bright, tangy Laura Chenel Fresh Chévre.
STEP 3: Add cured meats. We recommend using a variety of Alexian Pâté, Columbus-based North Country Charcuterie, Niman Ranch Charctuerie, Trois Petits Cochons Saucisson Sec Sausage, Fra' Mani Soppressata, and Prosciutto di Parma.
STEP 4: Place dried or fresh fruits (like grapes, berries, and pomegranate), pickled veggies, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Fill any gaps and arrange to your liking so that a variety of colors and textures show through. It makes eating all the more fun!