Charcuterie Board How To
Happy New Years Eve Eve Foodies! We are down to the end of the wire and this will be our last post for 2020. Before we get into how to put together this super fun gluten free charcuterie board, lets talk about this past week. It has been so weird, having no set schedule, being in lockdown (again) and so much gloomy weather. I’m sure I’m not the only one sleeping in every morning, consistently wondering what day of the week it is and being shocked every time you look at the clock, and it’s about 4 hours later than you thought. Oops, lol. But thats okay, we all need a break some times. For those who have been working this week, I feel for you and applaud you for keeping things on track.
I on the other hand, have been pretty relaxed this week. Yes, we have still been posting our regular blog posts but we have been consistently posting later than normal. Usually we have our posts for the week set out and ready. However, this week we have been creating, shooting and editing our posts all in one day. Hence them going up late, including this very post. But this post is worth the wait. We are bringing to you what our New Year’s Eve plan to and this amazing charcuterie board that is 100% gluten free.
Charcuterie Boards and Gluten
When eating gluten free or having celiac disease, charcuterie boards can be a high source of anxiety. So often they are filled with meats that have been contaminated, gluten containing crackers, and high risk nuts. Not to mention if everything on the board is not touching, someone is sure to contaminate everything with gluten from some item they have touched. So this charcuterie board is completely gluten free and a gluten no zone.
I know that I have been extremely fortunate that both Matt and my family understand my dietary restriction. I have a ton of support and encouragement, and I will forever be grateful to our families for this. In saying that, I know that this isn’t the case for everyone and I’m sorry for that. I can empathize with the struggle you must go through and how hard it to to eat out with others, or purely have dinner at someone’s home.
If this is the case for you, I highly recommend either being the person to offer bringing a dish that is safe for you to eat such as one of these boards. Or explain to the host that you have celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and would feel more comfortable bringing your own small dish for yourself. Some people may not understand this, but at the end of the day you have to take care of yourself and your health. This charcuterie board is great for a group or you can cut down the portions and make it for 1.
How to Create a Gluten Free Charcuterie Board
At this day and age, pretty much everyone has had some form of a charcuteries board. If you haven’t, then I think you should definitely run out to the grocery store and pick up some of these ingredients ASAP. You will be addicted to them as much as us, I am sure. So let’s get down to what you need to create this board.
First, I always start with the cheese. You will want a combination of hard and soft cheeses. We prefer to have 3 hard cheeses and 2 soft. This can change based on preference but we like to appeal a little to everyone. For the hard cheeses, a mixture of bold and mild are best. In this charcuterie board we have included a mozzarella, an extra old cheddar and a double smoked cheddar. The soft cheeses we have included are brie and brousin shallots and chives. In our family all of these cheeses are loved by someone which is why we continue to include them.
Next, I move on to the meat. Unlike cheese I find meat is always a bit tricky to find gluten free. My favourite brand is San Daniele and Mastro. These brands are actually the same company and they both clearly label if the product is gluten free. Please heed my warning. If you’ve been gluten free for many years you probably already know this, but if you’re newly gluten free, please please please, skip going to the deli. It is very risky and unsafe to go to the deli pick out your meat and have a person cut it for you. Sliced meat is already a bit of a concern for gluten, adding in the step of having someone slice it on the same machine as other products is beyond risky. Always purchase pre-packed sliced meat that has a gluten free label.
Now on to the meat we used. We have included 4 different meats on this charcuterie board. Mortadella, Salami, Coppa di Parma and Prosciutto. All of these have their own distinct flavour, different textures and are easy to eat with cheese and crackers. Of course, these choices can be altered to your own preferences. You can include a combination of mild and spicy meats or any other kinds. We just like to put out a variety to satisfy everyone.
Gluten Free Crackers
Putting gluten free crackers on the charcuterie board in my mind is the most important thing. I don’t imagine that anyone would go through the trouble of getting gluten free meat and then place regular, gluten containing crackers on the board. But you truly never know.
It has taken many, many years for me to find crackers that are both tasty and hold up in texture. Not to mention to pass the test of taste for those gluten eaters. After 7 years of searching, I have found my 3 favourite gluten free crackers which we have included on this board. These crackers are, Breton Gluten Free White Bean with Salt and Pepper, Schar Gluten Free Entertainment Crackers (these are my all time favourite), and Schar Gluten Free Multigrain Table Crackers.
If you can’t find these crackers or have other favourite, just make sure that you pick a few different types. The flavours should have a variety and the shapes and sizes as well. This way people have choices when picking their crackers to go with their meats and cheeses.
Veggies and Nuts
It’s important to add in some light foods onto the board. A few different types of veggies freshen up the spread. Meats and cheeses are heavy and while it’s nice to occasionally be indulgent. You will always want some veggies included. We have included carrots and cucumbers. I feel like these pair well with the other items on the board, as well as delicious to eat on their own.
If no one has any nut allergies, including nuts on the charcuterie board is also a nice extra. This adds in a crunch, as well as another flavour to everything. As I am sure you can tell, we love having a lot of variety available. On this board we have included roasted salted cashews and unsalted almonds. I will just note that nuts are a high source of cross contamination and should always be certified gluten free. The brand that we prefer is Organically Yours.
Optional: You can also include fruit on the board. Grapes are very classic, as are berries. However, we did not include these because they are out of season and the prices are very high right now. It is also not necessary, just based on personal preference.
Extras You Can include
We always include a few extra items on our charcuterie boards. On this board we included, blue cheese stuffed olives, cream cheese stuffed cherry peppers, red pepper jelly for the brie and hummus for the veggies and crackers. You will definitely want to include some olives or pickles to add in another fresh element. We just decided to step in up a notch by having stuffed olives and cherry peppers.
It is also nice to include dips or jams. Since our family loves some type of jam with brie, I have included a red pepper jelly. You can either pour some of this on top of the brie so that every time someone takes wedge it is already on there. Or you can include it on the side like we have done, so that only those that want it, will have it.
Lastly, we have also included in some homemade roasted garlic hummus. This hummus does great with veggies, and also tastes great on crackers. Again, adding in some variety and giving lots of options.
How Many Will This Feed?
It’s hard to say exactly, but this board would feed anywhere from 8-12 people. In the past we have done a similar size board with some extra fruit and veggies on the side at our family cottage. It has fed around 10 people on those occasions but we have had it for our main course for lunch. If you plan on having other appetizers or putting out a charcuterie board as a snack for a small gathering, definitely decrease the amount of food.
We hope that we have inspired you to create your own gluten free charcuterie board. Our plan is to have this type of spread tomorrow for New Year’s Eve with our family. Sadly, since we are in lockdown it will be a very small gathering with just our immediate family. But we plan on making it a fun night regardless. If you’re looking for more New Year’s Eve celebration ideas check out our Pomegranate-Cranberry White Wine Sangria to help ring in the year!
We wish you all health and happiness as we enter into a New Year!