I am a BIG fan of the occasional no-cook dinner. Especially if it’s one my whole family is excited to help make! Call it what you will: charcuterie board, cheese plate, grazing board – I call it “dinner.”
Some people start with a theme, like Thanksgiving or Winter. I like to start with what’s already in my fridge/pantry and what’s in season/on sale. And you don’t need an actual board or fancy platter! For quantities and scale, consider how many people you’re feeding. Marissa Mullen of That Cheese Plate suggests:
As you gather supplies and get started, think about flavor, texture, color, and shape. Here are some ideas:
Use meat if you wish, or make a dynamite meatless board with hard-boiled eggs, lox, smoked fish, baked tofu, or veggie sausage!
Try a combo of fresh, seasonal fruit like berries, grapes, or apple slices AND dried apricots, raisins, figs, or dates.
Start with what’s in season and pair it with a dip (see below)! We like: carrots, snap peas, sliced radishes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Some crunch is critical! Try: raw veggies (see above), pickled veggies (asparagus, giardiniera, olives), crackers, pretzels, chips, and nuts.
Dips and spreads can be used for crackers, vegetables, and even fruit! Consider savory options like hummus, pesto, tzatziki, mustard, and ranch. Or on the sweet side: jam, jelly, honey, and cream cheese.
Add a touch of something sweet (a few cookies or wrapped candies for a pop of color)
Thyme to come up with your own charcuterie, cheese plate, or grazing board puns. We'll start.
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