Valentine Charcuterie Board

by elyn_ryn

Consider a different take on Valentine’s Day food by creating a charcuterie board filled with everyone’s favorite foods, including healthy fruits and vegetables. Because charcuterie boards have so many colors, textures, and options, guests are sure to find several favorite foods.

When planning your board, consider if your guests are meat-eaters, vegetarians, or both. Include several types of crackers or bread slices for the meats. If there are vegetarians, consider placing the meat selections on a separate board.

Items are visually appealing and interesting when they are grouped together.

Place crackers in a stepping-stone pattern throughout the board to create an interesting look. You can also lay crackers in fan shapes or stacks. Stacks work well when you have limited space, while fans and stepping stone patterns take up space when you need them to. Just use your imagination to create a unique look. The only rule is to be careful about putting any moist foods near crackers so that the crackers don’t become soggy.

Juicy fruits can also stain cheese, so make sure fruits are dry if touching something that will absorb their color. If you garnish with strong-tasting sprigs like rosemary, just be sure they are not against fruits or other items that might take on the taste.

Add nuts in little jars and a few candies for a Valentine’s Day board. Place heart gummies on skewers for a presentation that goes well with the Valentine’s Day theme. Use a few edible flowers scattered around. Red or pink ones give a festive Valentine’s Day look.

Serve one or two dips to go with the vegetables. Also, you might consider having extra items on hand to replace the most popular items as they are eaten. It is funny how sometimes, everyone likes the same cracker or everyone wants extra grapes.

Have fun with your own charcuterie board. Whether you use an actual large board, platter, or just group everything together on a countertop, your guests will love the presentation and the visual beauty of fresh foods placed together.

Items used on this board:

Fruits: whole strawberries, red grapes, green grapes, watermelon, blackberries, pineapple, kiwi, raspberries

Vegetables: grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumbers, green and yellow bell peppers, leaf lettuce

Meats: sliced turkey, sliced ham

Cheese: pimento cheese dip (click here for my recipe), swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, Monterey and cheddar

Crackers: breadsticks, Ritz crackers, pita chips, crispy toasted bread rounds, pita chips

Nuts: pistachios

Candy: white chocolate truffles, skewered gummy hearts

Flowers: tulips and gerbera daisies (ends dipped in melted chocolate to seal)

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