Beautiful charcuterie boards resembling still lifes adorn the dining table of Caroline Harper Knapp, the lifestyle blogger behind House of Harper. Prosciutto, pistachios, olives, fresh vegetables, cheese, cheese straws, crackers, and dried and fresh fruit, including figs, apricots, and grapes, are all in the lineup. Not only is the prep simple, but the setup allows guests to eat and hold their drinks at the same time, making it easy to catch up with friend. Here are Caroline’s suggestions for an artistic and imaginative charcuterie board.
Charcuterie Board Favorites
Purple Greek Alphonso Olives: Large, purple olives with a fleshy texture and a full, ripe-olive flavor. A touch of sourness results from curing in red wine and red wine vinegar.
Silano Grilled Artichoke Stems: The stem is one of the most overlooked delicacies. Marinated in sunflower oil with herbs and spices, these stems are not only tender and delicious but are also full of antioxidants.
Piparras Peppers: These slender peppers have the perfect balance of a pickled flavor with a slight punch of heat. This traditional Basque pepper pairs perfectly with olives, anchovies, and Manchego cheese.
Bleu Mont Bandage-Wrapped Cheddar: A unique cheddar crafted in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. The cheese is made in a cave to maintain proper temperature and humidity. It is prepared in the traditional English style, using a muslin cloth wrapped around the exterior to preserve moisture.
Mousse du Périgord Pâté: Duck, chicken, truffles, and sherry are blended into pâté perfection. Handmade in small craft batches of all-natural ingredients, this pâté has had such notable fans as Craig Claiborne, Mimi Sheraton, and James Beard.
Oliviers & Co Olive Chutney with Candied Lemon: Black olives, green olives, honey, candied lemon, and sage come together in this exquisite chutney, the perfect accompaniment to all types of cheeses.
Online specialty food sources
Excerpted from Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts by Ronda Carman with principal photography by Matthew Mead and Michael Hunter (Rizzoli New York 2019). Read Flower‘s book review.