Serving a charcuterie board is one of my favorite ways to entertain in the spring, from brunch to late-afternoon weekend gatherings. And they always remind me of my mom.
This charcuterie board was inspired by the Mediterranean ingredients I grew up eating that also remind me of spring. I’m Spanish on my mom’s side and even though I grew up in Venezuela, every family gathering was filled with Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
When I serve charcuterie boards, I love offering my guests suggestions for what goes together. Pinchos (or pintxos) are bite-size Spanish snacks typically eaten in bars. Commonly served on a piece of bread with a cocktail skewer, they can be enjoyed in one or two bites. Pinchos are synonymous with socializing. You’ll often see groups of friends going from one bar to the next, enjoying drinks and these small bites.
I often prepare a few pinchos for my guests to try before letting them make their own. It’s always fun to see what people come up with. Pear, Iberico ham, blackberries and honey on crusty bread is one of my favorites for a sweet-and-salty vibe. Roasted red pepper and artichoke spread works well with three-seed crackers. The nuttiness of the crackers plays well with the tangy red peppers and piquant artichokes. My favorite is fig spread with gouda cheese, roasted almonds and a sprinkle of fresh thyme on crusty slices of bread. Figs play well with thyme, and the creamy gouda is just divine with crunchy almonds and fresh bread.
A trio of Barolo salami, fennel pollen salami, and applewood smoked salami offer something for all taste buds. Fennel always reminds me of springtime in Italy and California, where I live now. A few sprigs of herbs add a pop of color and can be saved after you’re done with your board for flavoring soups or stews.
Fruit, nuts and olives add texture and color to charcuterie boards. I love serving tangerines for an unexpected twist. Figs, blackberries, and sweet cherry tomatoes are easy to grab (kids love them, too). Any fruit will do, just make sure to pick out what looks best at the market.
To drink, I like to offer guests a few options. Harry & David’s Ross Lane Red blend pairs well with all of the items on the board.
The Ultimate Spring Charcuterie Board
For the board:
- Harry & David Olive Oil and Sea Salt Hors D’oeuvre Crackers
- Harry & David Three Seed Hors d’Oeuvre Crackers
- Harry & David Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Spread
- Harry & David Sweet Clover Honey
- Harry and David Pears
- Fermin Iberico ham
- Creminelli Fine Meats Barolo salami
- OLLI Toscano Fennel Pollen salami
- Napoli Applewood Smoked salami
- Sartori® Rosemary & Olive Oil Asiago cheese
- Rumiano California Crafted Dry Jack cheese
- Harry & David Fig spread
- Pitted green olives
- Roasted almonds
- Dried black mission figs
- Sweet Cherry Tomatoes on the vine
- Rosemary & thyme sprigs
- Crusty bread (sliced, Rustic Italian or Baguette works)
- For the appetizers:
- Pear and Iberico Ham Pinchos with blackberries and honey
- Red Pepper Artichoke Spread with Three-seed crackers
- Fig spread with Gouda cheese (roasted almonds and thyme on crusty bread)
To create the board:
- First arrange mini bowls with roasted almonds, green olives and spreads. This helps arrange the remaining ingredients around them. Place the 3 cheeses: gouda, Asiago and dry jack (cubed or sliced), separate from each other in a triangle shape.
- Slice the salami and place next to the gouda wheel, fold soppressata slices in half and place next to the dry jack cheese, and the Ibérico slices next to the Asiago cheese.
- Arrange the fruits, starting with the tomato vines, followed by the sliced pears and peeled tangerines.
- Fill the gaps with crackers, mission figs, blackberries and almonds. And style with greens such as rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.
- Place appetizer plates, cheese knives and toothpicks on the side. As well as small bowls with the artichoke spread, honey and seeds.
For the Pear & Ibérico Pinchos:
- Core a pear and cut it into 8 slices. Wrap each slice with Ibérico ham, place a blackberry on one side and secure with a toothpick. Drizzle honey on top just before serving.
For the Fig & Gouda Apps:
- Top each slice with 1 teaspoon of fig spread, 1 small cube of gouda, chopped almonds and a thyme sprig. Drizzle honey on top before serving.