Charcuterie boards are always seeing new trends. From creating unique and visually stunning boards at home to devouring various meats, cheeses, crackers, and condiments at a restaurant, the board will always reign as a fabulous appetizer or main course for me. However, the newest trend in charcuterie boards is pickled accompaniments, and they are quickly becoming the new must-have item for any board.
How To Build A Pickled Charcuterie Board
In this comprehensive guide below, I will outline and explore everything you need to know about creating the perfect pickled charcuterie board. Add these items to your board to make it extra dill-icious!
Pickling is a preserving technique that has been used for centuries. It involves soaking food in a mixture of vinegar, salt, spices, and sugar to enhance its flavor and extend its shelf life. Pickling not only adds flavor but also helps to balance out the richness of the meats and cheeses on the board.
Choosing the Right Pickled Accompaniments
When it comes to pickled accompaniments for your charcuterie board, the options are endless. From pickled vegetables, like cucumbers and onions, to pickled fruits, like cherries and grapes, the choices are amazing. When choosing the pickled accompaniments for your board, it is important to consider the flavor profile of the meats and cheeses you will be serving. For example, if you are serving spicy salami, you may want to include pickled jalapenos to balance out the heat. Even the two seem very similar, these bold flavors compliment each other. Don’t be afraid to get adventurous in your selections.
Preparing Your Pickled Accompaniments
There are several ways to prepare your pickled accompaniments, including store-bought and homemade options. Store-bought options are convenient, but they may not have the same flavor and texture as homemade pickles. Homemade pickles, on the other hand, can be customized to your liking and offer a fresher taste. I always make my selection based on time, but making your own pickles is actually very quick, easy and does not require many ingredients.
To make your own pickles, you will need the following ingredients:
- Vinegar (white or apple cider)
- Spices (such as dill, mustard seeds, and peppercorns)
- Vegetables or fruit of your choice
- Clean and slice your vegetables or fruit.
- In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices to a boil.
- Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat and add the sliced vegetables or fruit.
- Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the pickling mixture into a sterilized jar and let it cool to room temperature.
- Cover the jar and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
Assembling Your Pickled Charcuterie Board
Now that you have all of your ingredients prepared, it is time to assemble your pickled charcuterie board. The key to a successful board is to create a visually appealing arrangement that showcases all of the different flavors and textures.
Start by arranging the meats, cheeses, crackers, and pickled accompaniments on the board. Be sure to mix and match the different flavors and textures to create a balanced and beautiful display. Insta worthy of course.
When it comes to pickled accompaniments, it is important to include a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. For example, you could include slices of pickled red onion, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices. These bring pops of color to the board.
Adding the Finishing Touches
The final step in creating the perfect pickled charcuterie board is to add the finishing touches. I always add my pickled items in ramekins. This helps keep the juices and flavors in one place. It also ensures anyone who does not want to take part in the pickled items can easily avoid them. Some specific itmes I inlcude are pickled vegetables (e.g. cucumbers, carrots, and red onions), pickled fruits (e.g. peaches and cherries), and pickled eggs (yes- if you want to get crazy). All these pickled items can add a tangy and acidic element to your charcuterie board. So next time you are wondering what to include on your board, open that fridge up and grab those pickles. Bring on those pickled red onions. And seriously, don’t hesitate to get our of your comfort zone with pickled items- they are kind of a big DILL.
Food stylist & founder of One Board Gal. Known for creative food tips and simple cheese board inspiration. I am dedicated to helping you bring a lot to the table by sharing tricks, tips, and education for your next gathering.