Can’t pronounce it?

That’s okay. As long as you know what it is. And as long as you keep it in your rotation for entertaining, or even just a random weeknight.

I’ll be honest ~ I’ve always had trouble plating this meat, cheese, and condiment platter. It’s supposed to be plentiful, colorful, and artistic.

I should be a natural at this! I love to cook, and I love being creative.

But it took me going to a charcuterie restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, to really figure out how to put together a great charcuterie platter.

Here’s how.

You just copy the experts!

Here’s a picture of the gorgeous charcuterie platter we had with our beautiful friends, Greg and Emily (hi Greg and Emily!!) and their precious kiddos…

And here’s the knockoff I made on Monday night…

I think the grapes took up too much real estate. Nobody ever says, “There need to be more grapes on this platter.” Nope. We needed more room for the really good stuff…

…like the crispy prosciutto.

Obviously, you don’t need a recipe for any of this, but I will give you some tips that are my personal favorite charcuterie hacks.

AKA flavor bombs.

  1. Smoked Salmon. Be careful ~ if you add smoked salmon to anything, home-smoked or store-bought, people will ooh and aah over it, and will hardly notice anything else. My hub has started smoking salmon, and now my food basically plays 2nd fiddle to his smoked fare. So I don’t bother anymore! It’s charcuterie and antipasti from here on out, friends! Time for the man to do the cooking!
  2. Dress your tomatoes. If you have fresh tomatoes straight out of the garden, all you need is salt. For all the rest of the 2nd class tomatoes in the world, they need a little TLC. Salt your tomatoes and let sit for 5 minutes, then drizzle basil-infused olive oil, herbes de provence, or a combo of salt, pepper and orange zest.
  3. Basil-infused olive oil. Blend olive oil with basil, chives, and whatever you have laying around. But the basil should be the main flavor. Strain and use on everything.
  4. Crispy Prosciutto. I don’t like it any other way. Spread your thin slices of prosciutto onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 375. Easy Peasy.
  5. When in doubt, add salt and honey. Add salt to your honey. Add honey to your mustard. Add salt to your dark chocolate squares. Add honey to your blue cheese. Yum.

Here are some pairings that cannot go wrong:

Sharp cheese with mustard

Blue cheese with honey

Goat cheese with any jam or preserves

Salmon with capers

Dark chocolate with everything

Red wine with red wine.

I’m not very good at keeping a weekly tradition, but I think Charcuterie Monday Nights might be a thing at my house, from here on out.

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