Charcuterie Board & Feast
Woah! The holiday season felt so all-encompassing I didn’t think it would pass so quickly. But here we are, a number of weeks post and maybe I miss the overwhelming, intensive, food heavy time that seemed to slip right by. I felt like we were hopping back and forth from the table between each meal, and it was just right; comfortable and welcoming. I had plans to pull together a charcuterie board for the last stretch of Sukkot but then the flu happened, as unwelcome as it was. A wood board overflowing with meats, nuts, crackers and fruit held major appeal when little nibbles were all we could offer our outstretched bellies. It didn’t happen then but I’m eyeing it for next time. And I think you should too if nothing more than for its beauty and elegance. Simplicity, too. It’s a matter of pulling together different elements, opposing in flavor and texture. A contrast of colors and taste that pulls in anyone lingering around. I could stare at it all day and maybe tsk at the first person to touch it because it’s just that pretty.
You have here a few more elements to round out a meal; a salad, some appetizers, grilled vegetables. Each one is worthy on its own, so use them where you please. The quinoa salad especially is a favorite. But I’m also a salad girl through and through.
The return to routine has been relieving but looking at this I’m thinking a holiday is in order. Soon.
Bountiful Charcuterie Board
Asian Cocktail Meatballs
Black Quinoa Salad
Crispy Baked Avocado
Bountiful Charcuterie Board
Selection of cured and dried meats and sausages, such as Salami, Chorizo, Bresaola, Entrecote Fumee, Gendarme, Baton de Berger, Corned Beef, Honey Roasted Turkey, Pastrami, etc.
Selection of pickled olives, such as pitted Kalamata olives, tricolor olives, lemon olives, etc.
DRIED FRUITS & NUTS
- Dried apricots
- Dried cranberries
- Dried plums
- Roasted, salted pistachios
- Roasted, salted almonds
- Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate, cut into chunks
FRESH FRUIT & VEGETABLES
- Red & Green grapes
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Pickled red onions
BREAD & CRACKERS
- Assorted crackers
- Grissini breadsticks
- Olive crostini
- Sweet potato chips
- French baguette, sliced
- Raspberry preserves
- Dijon mustard
Once you’ve gathered your board components, you’ll want to arrange them on a platter. A wood platter gives a rustic feel but you can use a marble board or even a slate board for a more sophisticated look.
Start by transferring all the olives and condiments into small bowls and laying them throughout the board.
Next, crowd the meats throughout the board, divided by type. Swirl the crackers around the meats and heap the sweet potato chips.
Add the dried fruits, nuts, and bread. Add clusters of grapes around the board to frame it. Make sure everything is snug; that gives the look of abundance. If you have open space, you can fill it with herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or dill.
You don’t need everything to be perfectly aligned and symmetrical, this board is meant to be easy, rustic, and fun.
Don’t make a huge pile of any one thing. You can replenish stock as your guests deplete it.
Asian Cocktail Meatballs
makes 30 meatballs
2 lb ground meat (beef or turkey)
1 cup panko crumbs
6 scallions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ground ginger
Cooking oil spray
1 (15 oz) bottle teriyaki sauce
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix the beef, panko, eggs, scallions, garlic, and ground ginger. Shape into balls and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray generously with cooking spray and bake at for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the inside of the meatball is no longer pink.
Remove the meatballs from the oven and carefully pour the sauce over them. With a spoon, toss the meatballs to coat in sauce. Transfer to individual serving cups, garnish with sesame seeds and chives, and poke a cocktail fork into each one. Serve warm.
Crispy Baked Avocado with Sriracha Mayo
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper
2 large avocados, peeled and cut into 16 wedges
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup flour
1 egg, beaten
Cooking oil spray
½ cup mayonnaise
1-2 Tbsp sriracha
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the panko, paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the flour and beaten egg in additional bowls or shallow dishes.
Squeeze the lime over the avocado to preserve its color. Working with one wedge at a time, dredge each slice of avocado in flour, dip in egg, and coat well with the panko mixture, pressing down to make sure it covers the entire slice. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining avocado wedges. Spray generously with cooking oil spray and bake at 400° F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To prepare the dip, mix the mayonnaise and sriracha until well incorporated.
Transfer the avocado to a serving platter and serve with sriracha mayonnaise.
Note: Pick an avocado that is just ripe-- it should retain a slight firmness so that it peels and slices in neat wedges. You can make this up to a day in advance and reheat before serving.
2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
3 zucchinis cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
1 red onion, sliced
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Place the bell peppers in a baking dish and pour the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. With your hands, rub the oil into the vegetable. Roast at 400F for 25-30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until combined. Place the vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and brush the dressing over it. Note: At this point the vegetables can be refrigerated until you are ready to grill.
Heat a grill pan over medium high flame. Place the vegetables on the grill pan and cook for 5 minutes per side or until nicely charred.
Remove the bell peppers from the oven and arrange all the vegetables on a platter. Pour the remaining dressing over it. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Tip: if you like grill marks as much as I do, you can the bell peppers to the grill pan after they've roasted. You can prepare this up to 2 days in advance, just reheat before serving.
Black Quinoa Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups black quinoa, rinsed
1 teaspoon tsp sea salt
3 cups boiling water
2 apples, cored and cubed
4 cups arugula lettuce
⅔ cup roasted and salted sliced almonds
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup golden raisins
Chopped pistachios, to garnish
Mint leaves, to garnish
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the quinoa, heat the the oil in a pot over a medium- high heat. flame. Add the quinoa and stir to coat in oil. Season with salt and pour 3 cups in the boiling water. Bring to a boil, give it a stir once, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until all the water has absorbed (about 35 to -40 minutes). Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly, before transferring to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a lidded jar and shake vigorously to combine.
Add the apple cubes, arugula, almonds, cranberries, and raisins to the quinoa. Pour the dressing over the salad and give everything a thorough mix. Garnish with chopped pistachios and mint. Serve at room temperature.