A guide on how to put together a simple charcuterie board with whipped homemade ricotta and your favorite selection of meats and cheese.
Charcuterie and cheese boards are my love language. As a full-time cheese lover, it’s honestly one of my favorite things. Set up a good one with a glass of wine and I’m in heaven!
This particular charcuterie and cheese board features a homemade ricotta that is whipped together with lemon zest, honey, and rosemary. It’s smooth and creamy and sweet, and it’s out of this world when spread on some grilled or toasted sourdough. You can buy store bought ricotta if you would like, but my homemade ricotta only takes 15 minutes to make and is so worth the taste!
One thing I love about charcuterie boards is that there are so many different ways to build them, and although there are some basic guidelines, there really isn’t a wrong way to put one together. Just pick out your favorite meats, cheeses, and spreads and you’re good to go. You can make it as fancy, or as simple as you’d like. This isn’t technically a recipe, but I’ll put everything I used below. If you need a little help, let’s go over some simple guidelines.
Decide if you are going to eat your charcuterie before your meal, as your meal, or after your meal. This will help you decide what kinds of things to place on your board. For example, it is customary in French culture to have a cheeseboard after dinner. It is typically served with a dessert wine, which is thick and sweet.
Paul and I recently visited wine country of Ontario, Canada, where they are famous for their ice wines. It is a dessert wine that is harvested in the winter, and picked by hand when the grapes are frozen. If you are serving your charcuterie with dessert wine, you might want to put some spicy or strong meats and cheeses on your board that balance out the sweet.
I wanted to showcase my cute little bottle of ice wine we brought home, so I paired the whipped ricotta with hot cherry peppers, a sriracha cheddar, and spicy mustard.
Run, don’t walk, to your closest Trader Joe’s. I’m only slightly kidding. Trader Joe’s has AWESOME stuff for your cheese board. I got the cherry peppers, sriracha cheddar, and cheese sticks from there, and all three are amazing. They have butters, jams, peppers, crackers, good bread, wine, and an excellent cheese selection that makes your charcuterie a one stop shop!
Find a nice variety. Maybe your favorite cheese is gouda, but don’t build a cheese board with three different types of it. (Or do. Make your own rules, what do I know.) It’s nice to have a variety of cheeses. A good place to start is one aged, one soft, and one creamy. For example, an aged gouda, a blue stilton, and a brie might be a nice selection. (Especially if you bake or grill your brie and top it with deliciousness.)
Making a “fancy” charcuterie board isn’t as hard as it might look. Just add the fun stuff! Think nuts, drizzled honey, marinated olives, cornichons (those little crunchy pickles), fruit such as stone fruit and grapes, and fun crackers or bread. Seriously, just walk down the aisles or Trader Joe’s and see what catches your eye.
- FOR THE WHIPPED RICOTTA
- The Food Girl's Homemade Ricotta (or store bought) recipe: http://www.thefoodgirl.com/homemade-ricotta/
- zest of one small lemon
- ½ tbsp honey
- ½ tsp rosemary
- Small splash of either olive oil or half n half (optional)
- FOR SETTING THE BOARD
- 4-6 slices Proscuitto
- 6 oz. sriracha cheddar
- Sweet hot cherry peppers
- 2 oz spicy mustard
- Cheese sticks
- Sourdough bread, grilled or toasted with butter
- Follow recipe instructions for homemade ricotta, or use store bought, and combine with lemon zest, honey, and rosemary
- If the ricotta isn't as wet as you want it, add a small splash of either half n half or olive oil
- Take individual slices of prosciutto and roll up
- Place cheese selection on board
- Put hot peppers, mustard, cheese sticks, and sourdough into individual bowls or directly on board