Microgreens are a perfect addition to charcuterie boards. Microgreens add color, are excellent at filling in the gaps between the board’s main components, pique your guests’ interest as they try something new, and of course, add different and bold flavors to the spread you have prepared.
Charcuterie boards are stunning for a Holiday gathering or even a weeknight get-together.
Putting together a charcuterie board isn’t difficult.
Even though they look super fancy in a few easy steps, you can do this by adding gorgeous finishes like microgreens.
Putting Together A Charcuterie Board
In this article, Kassy Moore of Homemaking Without Fear will show you how easy putting together a charcuterie board is, start to finish, in 5 easy steps!
A Microgreen Charcuterie Board would be the perfect addition to your holiday table.
Kassy has graciously allowed me to use her beautiful photos and reprint the process.
You can learn more about Kassy at the bottom of this article.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
Charcuterie is a French word to make cured meats like bacon, sausage, ham, salami, mortadella, capicola, or prosciutto sound fancier.
Finding these charcuterie meats center stage on any charcuterie board is the norm.
Also found on charcuterie boards are specialty cheeses, sweet or savory spreads, and fruits of all kinds are excellent accompaniments to add to charcuterie boards.
Another excellent addition to a charcuterie board is microgreens!
Many microgreens have the flavor to stand up to cured meats. These include mustard microgreens, nasturtiums, borage, and radishes.
Sunflower shoots can add not only flavor but texture to the bite.
Besides flavor, microgreens can also add a colorful pop to the board. Think of any red-leafed and stemmed radish, purple kohlrabi, and red cabbage.
Microgreens also soften the edges and separate the main components from each other, adding dimension to the board.
Chances are some of your guests are vegetarian, and the microgreens provide flavorful alternative choices to cured meats on the charcuterie board.
Are There Vegetarian Charcuterie Boards?
Vegetarian charcuterie boards are becoming more common. Although the word charcuterie is still used, the cured meats are replaced by preserved fruits and vegetables like olives, pickled vegetables, and flavored firm tofu.
Of course, microgreens would be a great addition to vegetarian charcuterie boards too!
Making a Stunning Microgreen Charcuterie Board Step-by-Step
I’m going to turn over the article to Kassy. She will explain how to make a beautiful and flavorful microgreen charcuterie board in five easy steps!
Step 1. Determine How Big to Make Your Microgreen Charcuterie Board
This may be the most challenging part.
I hate not having enough food for everyone, but most of the time, a charcuterie board isn’t meant to be the main meal.
So first, decide if the board will be served as an appetizer followed by the main meal; or if the charcuterie board itself will be the main meal.
I have seen some people using their dining room table tops as the base for their charcuterie board.
Rule of Thumb for How Big to Make Your Charcuterie Board
If the charcuterie board is meant to be an appetizer/snack option, plan about 3-4 slices of meat and 1-2 ounces of cheese per person.
If the charcuterie is meant to be the main meal, double the amount!
Step 2. Pick Your Board, Plate, or Platter
This is fun because you can use any board you like. However, it does have to be good-sized to fit all the goodies.
I recommend an 18 by 18-inch size to serve five people. You could definitely use more than one board, platter, or plate.
Cutting boards, larger ceramic plates, or marble platters are all beautiful ideas. Be creative and look around your house first to see what you may have.
You don’t necessarily have to run out and purchase anything.
However, small bowls or jars are also necessary for spreads, sauces, or dips.
They don’t have to all match! In fact, mixing and matching are quite charming.
Step 3. Select the Components – Including Microgreens for Your Charcuterie Board
Here are some suggestions for components to include on your charcuterie board. You want a good selection but don’t want to overwhelm people with choices.
Choose 2-3 types of meats. I recommend choosing a mix of mild to spicy
Examples: salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, summer sausage, capicola. Even little bite-size chunks of good-quality meat sticks work. You don’t have to spend a lot of money here.
Choose 2 to 3 types of cheeses. Mix soft and hard cheeses and flavor profiles from mild to sharp.
Some examples of softer cheeses are muenster, Havarti, brie, flavored cream cheeses, and mascarpone. I really like the soft, milk-flavored varieties of Boursin Cheese.
Some examples of hard cheeses are parmesan, asiago, gouda, gruyere, cheddar, and Colby.
Try a blue cheese like Gorgonzola, marbled jack, feta, or goat cheese for extra flavor and texture.
Choose 2-3 kinds of fruits. For fruits, I recommend focusing on seasonal fruits. Now that might be hard in the winter & Holiday time, depending on where you live, but be creative and mix fresh fruit with dried.
Some examples of fruits I like to add to charcuterie boards: are grapes, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and sliced apples.
For dried fruits: pineapple, mango, raisins, prunes, figs, cranberries, and apricots.
Again, go with 2-3 types of spreads and mix sweet and salty type flavors.
A mustard spread is always a favorite for me. You could make this as simple as a store-bought grainy, country mustard.
Maple mustard or specialty honey mustards are delicious, as are maple onion jams.
Jams or marmalades such as orange, strawberry, cranberry, or fig go nicely with rich cheeses.
Kalamata olive spreads are also a favorite, aka tapenade or humus types spreads. For a kick, try sweet pepper or caramelized pepper jams.
Cream cheese spreads are also a favorite in our home.
Simple raw honey is delicious drizzled over fruits and cheeses like brie and cheddar.
Crackers and Breads
Choose 2-3 types of crackers or bread. Breadsticks, flatbreads, rice crackers, sliced or toasted french bread rounds, flavored or plain butter crackers, and toasted sourdough bread are all wonderful options.
Microgreens & Extras
Microgreens are an excellent addition to a charcuterie board. I keep microgreens growing in my kitchen at all times.
As mentioned, any mustard or radish microgreens varieties are great to pair with cured meats. Sunflower shoots add texture and provide an alternative item to dip for those that don’t like cured meats. Red cabbage or purple kohlrabi adds flavor and color to the board.
The extras are the fun part! They really fill in and finish the board to make it beautiful.
Extras can include chocolates, nuts, fresh herbs, and edible flowers are all wonderful options.
I also consider pickled/fermented veggies as extras: pickles and olives of all kinds- I love adding olives to charcuterie boards!
Pickled beets or pickled jalapeños peppers add a nice acid bite to cut the richness of meat and cheese.
Now That You Have Everything
Gather everything you may want to use on your charcuterie board. I like to keep everything grouped together but individually wrapped & refrigerated until right before it’s time to eat or go to a party.
If you want to plan how to lay out your charcuterie board ahead of time, place appropriate-sized bowls/containers on the board and label them. Then snap a photo of the layout that you can refer back to when it is time to place out the food.
Meats, cheeses, fruits, and extras can be sliced beforehand, but keep them wrapped, so the edges don’t dry out.
Charcuterie boards are best served chilled and as fresh as possible.
In the next step, I’ll share the simple process for perfectly styling all these goodies.
Step 4 – Step-by-Step Method to Perfectly Style Your Microgreen Charcuterie Board
Start by adding your larger items to the board first – place small bowls that you may use to add dips, spreads, or sauces.
Place them randomly and separate them across your board. Reserve the sauces/spreads themselves for adding right before serving.
Next, add your cheeses and separate them from one another. Don’t group the cheese together.
Imagine you are painting a picture, and the board is your canvas.
Spread items around the board, and think about symmetry and balance. But it doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t stress over it.
Add crackers or bread to the board – keep them close to the cheese for easy selection.
Now add meat by tucking them close to other items on the board. Again, keep the sizes small and grabbable/snackable.
You want your guests to be able to easily grab individual items. For example, if you have a large piece of loose meat, consider folding it or wrapping it around the fruit to make it easy to grab.
An example of this would be wrapping a piece of prosciutto around a slice of pear.
Add fruit by placing it in clusters throughout the platter. Separate the dried fruits from the fresh ones.
How to Make a Salami Rose for a Charcuterie Board
A fun way to add meats to a charcuterie board is by folding them to make them easy to grab, fanning them out slightly, or making this simple rose you see below.
The salami rose is easier to make than you think. Use a small glass or cup and layer sliced meats around the rim in 3-4 layers, overlapping each piece as you go.
Flip the glass upside down on the board where you’d like to place the charcuterie rose. See, that wasn’t so bad!
Step 5. Add Microgreens & all the Extras to Take Your Board Over the Top!
Fill in the extra gaps on the board with good dark chocolate, herbs, seeds, nuts, flowers, and microgreens.
These finish touches really make the charcuterie board extra beautiful. Don’t you think?
Charcuterie boards are best if assembled right before you plan to set them out to be devoured.
Don’t forget to set out small serving utensils like little tongs, forks, small spoons for spreads, and cheese knives.
You can use the photos in the gallery above for inspiration!