Last week I got together with a few girlfriends to discuss our Fall fundraiser, Gingerbread Boutique. We met at The Stonehaus, a breathtaking enoteca that makes you feel as if you've just arrived in Italy. I'll have to tell you more about it later. It's amazing. While we were there we brianstormed, drank wine, dined on salad, and had the most wonderful formage & charcuterie board. If you follow me on Instgram you may remember the picture I posted. It was delicious, and unsurprisingly, has been on my mind ever since.
Friday night we were going to spend the evening at our local park listening to music, but when pink eye invaded the home, plans changed. We already had most items already on hand, and it was a great way to satisfy a craving, so I decided to put together a family-friendly fromage & charcuterie platter. I had pictures from our meeting which provided a great deal of inspiration. We would need a few different cheeses(hard, soft, earthy, tangy), meats (at least two), fruits to cut the saltiness, nuts, and grains. With cues taken from The Stonehaus and making sure to have something for everyone, here is what I created.
From the top going clockwise, we had one sliced anjou pear(firmness is important), a subtle, soft blue cheese, thinly sliced capicola, mini Babybels, prosciutto di parma, red grapes, salami, and the creamiest brie. Placed here and there amoungst it all, we had whole grain crackers and lightly toasted and buttered baguette slices. You'll see in some pictures that we also had two silver stands with toasted almonds and macadamia nuts as well. Why were they separate instead of on the platter with everything else? My son has allergies, and while he has never had a reaction to nuts, I like to play it safe. It can't hurt.
This was probably one of the easiest meals we'd had in a while. The children loved being able to decide what went on their plates, and we all enjoyed how casual it was. I highly reccommend putting a platter~or board~like this together if you're looking for an easy lunch or dinner. It's surpringly light. Even when we were finished, we were full, but no one had that heaviness that can often follow a meal.
What I loved most about this meal, however, was the simplicity. Cheese, meat, fruit, crackers...most of us have these things already so putting together a small one doesn't require much effort. I'll definitely do this again; more than likely for a girls night in. For a more rustic feel I'll probably add a small bowl of olives, fruit spreads, and serve it on a large serving board instead of a platter.
I like preparing food for my family, but when your child is sick or the temperatures rise, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. Try making your own platter with a few of your favorites. More than likely, you'll find it simply delicious.