How to Make a Sweet & Savory Summer Charcuterie Board

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One of the reasons charcuterie boards are so popular is that they’re so easy to put together, especially when you need to serve something up in a pinch. Traditionally, they feature a variety of cured meats (aka the charcuterie), cheeses, spreads, honey, jam, nuts, fruits and bread or crackers.

That wide selection provides an opportunity to please multiple palates, and the summer season provides many opportunities to enjoy a charcuterie board, from pre-dinner snacking to picnics at the beach.

Here are a few tips for making a stellar summer charcuterie board.

Variation and Contrast are Key

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As seen scrolling through social media, the sheer number of ingredients on charcuterie boards can make them seem intimidating. But it’s easier to put together if you build with balance in mind.

Serving salty salami? Add sweet, dried figs. Contrast creamy goat cheese with a sweet, smooth honey and crostini. You get the idea.

For each kind of ingredient, select a variety of styles. If you have a hard cheese like cheddar or Manchego, add a soft one like brie or mozzarella. If grissini breadsticks make it onto your board, consider adding a softer baguette sliced or hand-ripped into pieces.

Need help choosing cheeses? Get some help from Wisconsin Cheeses.

Satisfying Seasonal Additions

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Want to get the most flavor out of the produce on your board? Choose those that reach peak ripeness in the summer like tomatoes, berries, melon and citrus. Crisp green beans make a great dipper for hummus and can also be wrapped in prosciutto.

If you enjoy cooking outdoors, consider grilling summer squash or peaches for an unexpected treat. Let them cool, and serve in bite-sized slices or pieces.

Try this recipe for Grilled Peaches from Food52.

Find Your Summer Style

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Over the past decade, the definition of a charcuterie board has evolved far beyond its roots to encompass a broad range of themed boards with curated ingredients. There are vegan boards, dessert boards, holiday boards and breakfast boards. Since summer is a time to let loose and set your own rules, don’t feel confined by any preconceptions about what your charcuterie board needs to be.

Waking up late on weekends calls for a brunch-themed board with waffles, summer-ripe strawberries and your favorite sausages alongside those cured meats and cheeses. Nights around the campfire are a perfect time to try out a S’mores board with several different kinds of chocolate. Want something for the kids to do during break? Teach them how to make a simplified, kid-friendly board with apple slices, celery sticks, pepperoni and nut or seed butter.

Try this kid-friendly charcuterie board from Tasty Oven.

Check out our “Cheese & Charcuterie" section in the Doris weekly ad for great deals on items perfect for your charcuterie board!

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