How To Make A Family Charcuterie Platter For DinnerJune 15, 2016
Aggravation is the mother of invention. That’s how the quote goes, right? HA! In this case, the family charcuterie platter was born out of needing an easy, healthy dinner that appealed to all members of my family.
I think of it as the ultimate kid-pleasing dinner, but it can also work for couples, parties, picnics, you name it.
It’s how to make leftovers sexy again.
It’s how to satisfy the child who hates green beans and the child who loves green beans, at the same time.
It’s how to put something on the table that gets ooooh’s and ahhhh’s instead of an immediate “I don’t like that” from a snotty 5 year old.
And it’s a lot easier than it looks.
The first thing you need is a board or platter of some kind.
The charcuterie “look” is having a bunch of pretty colors, textures and flavors all sort of piled up next to each other.
I use a large bamboo cutting board, but use whatever you’ve got. And if you need to use several serving dishes, that’s fine too.
The next thing is figuring out how much food you need.
Invariably, when I post a photo of these dinners on social media, people ask “Is that enough food??”
I have a family of 2 adults and 2 little kids. What you see in these pictures was more than enough for 1 meal. If you have a larger or hungrier family, you will simply need a larger platter.
But in general, think about how much food you would need to serve your family a “normal” meal. How many pounds of meat? How many cups of vegetables? Make sure you have the same volume of food overall.
Now it’s time to decide what goes on your platter.
As with any meal, make sure you have a significant protein source. In this case, you may have 2, 3 or 4 protein sources. Think meat, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, beans… And think about what you already have in the fridge. Charcuterie platters are a great way to use up odds and ends.
Vegetables and fruit add color so choose a wide variety. It’s a great time to introduce something new or expose your kids to something they’d usually shun. Even if they don’t eat it, they’ll have a chance to see it in a new context.
I like to add some unexpected “dinner” items like popcorn or peanut butter-stuffed dates. Just for fun. Hey, it’s real food!
And everyone loves dips and appetizer-style finger foods. These can be homemade or store bought. They add a little class. (And we’re nothing if we ain’t classy in this house. Hehe.)
Arranging your platter is the fun part.
Make shapes, add little bowls, decorate with spinach leaves. There’s no wrong way to do it and the kids can definitely help.
As for serving…treat dinner like a picnic.
Let everyone grab with their fingers, take what they want and have an unstructured meal. I’m often surprised at what my kids choose to try or totally ignore on the platter. They like to make faces on their plates using all the different shapes.
And voilá! Dinner is served and everyone is happy!
I would absolutely LOVE to see your family charcuterie platters. If you take a photo, tag me on social media so I can applaud loudly!