Like I have said before, you are going to see so so many charcuterie boards here on my blog.. many different themes, and flavors are going to make an appearance, and have their front and center! Although, we’re into the middle of the first month of the new year, so I wanted to introduce a charcuterie board that has various layers of textures without all the cheese-y, and saltiness that usually comes along with an everyday charcuterie board.
Don’t get me wrong.. I LOVE cheese and meats; of all kinds. I mean at the end of the day thats what it means to charcuterie, BUT in todays culinary world, you can literally make a board of any kind. You can have so much fun creating, while also indulging in foods that have such good nutritional fats in them, that are clean to give you energy, so you start off the year with a right mind! Even when I’m eating healthier.. making sure that I’m getting lots of good fruits and vegetables, I will never deprive myself of everything that people think you need to let go of! This board is the perfect mix of everything good, while still enjoying what you love, so you’ll never miss the meat and varieties of cheeses… at least for just this little while anyway 😉
On every charcuterie board that I put together, I always love having a focal point! The focal point could be fruit, a display of something edible, or a huge block of cheese adorned with herbs, jellies, and nuts. In this case, I thought the grapes looked glorious in the center of the tray.. along with giving it gorgeous pops of color, considering there was going to be more green, and orange on the tray than anything else!
One of my all time favorite things to do when “picking” off of a charcuterie board is taking any cracker/bread, spreading cheese on top, and then topping it with spicy salami. It is super delicious and so satisfying! If you love smoked salmon, this will give you that same deliciousness when you pop one in your mouth! I used tri-colored fingerling potatoes; steamed them, and cut them in half. Once the potatoes were all cut in half, I put a small dollop of cream cheese on each, then folded a piece of smoked salmon on the tops of every one of them. For the final touch (you can not skip this step it is essential!!) I sprinkled “everything but the bagel” seasoning all over, even letting some fall of the plate for that seasoned presentation look.
If you’re a sriracha fan as much as I am.. especially when it comes to sushi and smoked salmon, you can absolutely squeeze a drop onto each potato, just as I did.. for that little kick that your taste buds need when you’re doing a whole bunch of picking!
While were on the cream cheese, and smoked salmon train.. I’ll introduce you to these little babies! Cucumber canapés. If you crave sushi all the time, you will fall in love with this delicious hor d’oeuvre. I guarantee you! You’ll create these the way you did with the potatoes bites, except just switch out the potatoes for slices of cucumber! With these as well, you can drizzle sriracha on top, but instead I placed a few pieces of green onion for a bit of favor since the cucumber is very light tasting.
I always love adding something green, or some sort of vegetable to a charcuterie board, but being that we’re having the stuffed peppers, and the topped cucumber bites, I wanted to add a snack element onto the platter. My idea was to have the snack go extremely well with the smoked salmon on the board, and the thing that came to my mind was edamame, and that instantly made me think of the snap pea crisps! GUYS.. let me tell you, these are the perfect addiction to the charcuterie board!
I wanted something with a little zip, and smoothness intertwined within this board, so the thing I thought would pair immensely was guacamole.
NOW.. Secret time: When you’re preparing these boards, especially for a number of people.. remember not everything has to be homemade! It will definitely save a huge chunk of your time, and maybe even some money in the long run! With saving time.. it will also give you more time to do other little creative things that will give people the “wow” factor that you want when you are entertaining!
All I did was take mini bell peppers, de-seed them, fill the halves with some guac, and top with green onions!
Speaking of buying already made goodies.. the chicken salad and sugar cookie hummus in the glass bowls are incredible additives that you could find at your local grocery store! I love taking ready to eat things and elevating them. With the chicken salad, I topped it with bright colored dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. Then, on top of the hummus I put a nice little date in the center for a garnish! If you are really on a health kick and you want something sweet/sugary, a date is the perfect guilt quencher. You must try, even if you think you won’t enjoy!
To pair with the chicken salad I decorated the plate with some texture.. crispy buttery crackers, and sea salt pita chips for the hummus. Since the hummus is sugar cookie flavored; when paired with the hummus it ACTUALLY tastes like you are eating a sugar cookie. As close to the real thing as you can get without seriously eating one, that is!
In the end, the board looks gorgeous, quite refreshing, and so satisfying! You can serve this to guests at a party on your island around all your other food choices for something a little lighter, or you can enjoy with another person for a late night dinner, if you just do not have the desire to do dishes that night. That HAS to be one of the best perks about creating a board/platter.. there are NO dishes besides the knife and cutting board you used to prepare everything. Also, I think anything that is in collage form is insanely appealing to the eye. It just really draws a person in.. making them try things they maybe thought they’d never eat before.
Have fun boarding into this new year diamonds.. the healthier way 😉