DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter
A DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter that will make your guests go “WOW!” is a lot easier to assemble than you might think.
Holiday Charcuterie platters are gorgeous things to behold! Perfect holiday fare.
First, you’ll need a large platter (or board) for your DIY charcuterie platter. Preferably at least 36 cm (14 inches) in diameter. In this demonstration, we used a 41 cm (16 inch) white marble turntable from a department store. It was very reasonably priced at $29.99. Wooden, ceramic, or glass platters will also made a beautiful background for your arrangement.
Assemble all your ingredients for the DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter before you begin. We used a Berkel Red Line 250 slicer to allow us the greatest choice among meats. It allowed us to slice at whatever thickness we chose. It is also far less expensive to buy meats un-sliced. And unused portions can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.
A suggested shopping list
Prosciutto di Parma
Dry-cured smoked ham
Pate de Campagne
Green and red grapes
Strawberries, hulled and halved
Other nice additions
Grilled piquillo peppers in olive oil
Small lettuce leaves or other salad greens in red and bright green
Green olives stuffed with blue cheese
Multicolor marinated olives
A cheese with a colorful rind or coating of seeds, ash, herbs, or espresso
Marinated mozzarella balls
Crackers, such as fig and almond, apricots toasts with seeds, and grissini (very thin breadsticks)
And a few other ideas we haven’t used here that you might like
Small colorful tomatoes
Marinated artichoke hearts
Dried fruit (apricots, pears, pineapple)
Nuts, plain or glazed (walnut or pecan halves, Brazil nuts, Marcona almonds, cashews)
Use the steps below as a guide for your DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter. Adjust the ingredients and amounts to your taste and the number of guests you plan to serve.
Begin with a rosette of salami by pinching together several slices and securing them with a toothpick, if necessary. You should avoid the use of toothpicks, but the center rosette may require one.
Add three evenly spaced fans of prosciutto.
Add S-shapes of salami, and additional pieces around the rosette.
Add rosettes of speck — or another soft, thinly-sliced cured meat — and a square or rectangle of your favorite pate. We chose a country pate because it holds its shape well.
Red-leaf lettuce leaves look awkward at this point, but will help to create a lush look when the DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter is filled in.
Pretty little salad leaves threaded with red help build a background for what’s to come.
These purchased piquillo peppers come in jars and are scored with grill marks.
We added a wedge of semi-firm cheese that has a coating of espresso powder. To add interest to the plate, we cut the rind of an additional wedge and arranged it alongside the pate.
Small mozzarella balls come in various sizes, plain or marinated. We bought medium-sized ciliegine. Then we marinated them briefly in extra-virgin olive oil, a bit of champagne vinegar, minced scallion greens, freshly ground black pepper, and a bit of flaky sea salt.
These olives were purchased stuffed with blue cheese. For the best flavor and appearance, figs must be fresh and firm.
These grapes were chosen for their appearance as well as flavor. The elongated green grapes are a bit tart, and the small red ones are sweet and mild.
Now is the time to add more fans and rosettes of your favorite meats. We added two shapes cut from our large smoked country ham — paper-thin slices as well as thick slices we then cut into little batons.
Strawberries and sprigs of rosemary add seasonal winter colors.
Add sweet fresh blackberries and sheafs of crisp crackers. The DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter’s final touch is a spray of grissini, very thin Italian breadsticks. To make them stand up, put them in a toothpick holder or other small upright container that won’t tip over.
Want more? To the serving table add small dishes of chutney, pepper jelly, mustards, and fig preserves or other jams that pair well with meats and cheeses. And voilá, you have created a DIY Holiday Charcuterie Platter masterpiece.