Charcuterie boards are always wildly popular, and especially so throughout the holiday season. They’re fun, festive, beautiful and – with just a little bit of planning – can also be incredibly nutritious, as well. Kendall Finn of Plattered NOLA offers this DIY step-by-step guide below to build your own beautifully nutritious board, or you can opt to order a custom-made charcuterie board designed just for you.
Kendall’s Charcuterie DIY Tips
1. Select your board (or platter or plate). On a budget? A wooden cutting board can work just fine.
2. Arrange all cheeses first, followed by ramekins for olives, pickles, dips, spreads and sauces (some, like coarse mustard, can go straight onto the board; others are best in little bowls or vessels).
3. Meats are next up – and whether you are making a rose or a river, folding the meats adds interesting texture, versus just laying it flat on the board, taking your board to the next level.
4. Next step is to add crackers, since they take up much of surface area on the board. Pro tip: If you’re making the board in advance, save space for crackers and add just before serving, so they won’t get soggy in the fridge.
5. For the rest of the ingredients, anything goes! Fill in with fresh fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. To finish, fill your ramekins with jams, jellies, pickles, olives etc. You might consider which dips or sauces they pair well with, or you may arrange by type of ingredient, color or texture.
6. Finish your board with fresh or dried herbs like sage, rosemary or mint for garnish, and you’re ready to go!
Here’s a rundown of Molly’s top ingredient picks for your DIY charcuterie board:
Cheese | lower-sodium varieties
- Goat cheese
- Fresh mozzarella
Crackers | whole grain, unrefined
- Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Angelic Bakehouse 7 Sprouted Whole Grains Snack Crisps
- Triscuit Thin Crisps
- Akmak Sesame Whole Grain Crackers
- Sprinkling of Parmesan crisps
Meats + Proteins
- Smoked salmon
- Shrimp with a squeeze of lemon
- Naturally-cured prosciutto
- Roasted chickpeas or edamame
- Marinated tofu
Crudité | olives + interesting vegetables
- Vegetables picked in vinegar [e.g. okra, peppers, onions, mushrooms]
- Fermented vegetables or kimchi
- Thinly-sliced pink or watermelon radishes
- Roasted red + yellow peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced fennel
- Endive leaves
- Jicama sticks
- Figs [sliced length-wise]
- Dried fruit, without added sugar
Nuts | any + all
- Savory: roast with olive oil, spices, optional dash of salt
- Sweet + savory: roast with olive oil, sprinkle of Swerve, dash of salt
Dips + Sauces
- Creamy dips made with 2% Greek yogurt
- Whole grain mustard
- Hummus [add color with beet hummus, edamame hummus]
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans. She’s manages the Ochsner Fitness Center Nutrition Department and is the founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.