Italian charcuterie is both filling and indulgent.
Because it's so rich, Italian charcuterie is the perfect meal ideal for special events like weddings and graduation parties. It also makes a hearty dinner.
You can make your own Italian charcuterie board in under 30 minutes by following our simple tutorial.
Start with a blank charcuterie board
Italian charcuterie makes a statement and deserves to be served on a statement piece. Start with a quality charcuterie board that matches your board's theme. Olive wood is a great choice, since this wood hails from the Mediterranean. Or, if you're serving charcuterie on a summers' day, you might want to consider marble to keep things cool.
Gather your meats
You'll want to focus on cured meats for an Italian charcuterie board. Simple, easy to acquire meat options include pepperoni, salami, and prosciutto. Don't worry - the rich oils will be balanced by tart vegetables and lighter cheeses like fresh mozzarella later on.
Include rich spreads
The important thing to remember with spreads is that it should be something you would eat on its own. And, much like the meats on this board, Italian spreads are often rich with oils. We personally love artichoke bruschetta.
You can make your own easily by blending artichoke with olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and lemon. The slightly tangy flavor helps offset the richness of the board.
Add your cheeses
The cheeses you choose for your board can vary widely, but here are a few options:
- Mozzarella – this is an Italian staple that pairs well with meats, especially prosciutto. Choose the fresh kind for the best flavor and texture.
- Fontina – creamy and delicious, fontina works well with sweeter meats like prosciutto. If you want to go all out here, look for some artisanal versions from Italy!
- Parmesan - this is a fermented cow’s milk cheese that’s aged until it’s hard as rock and has a nutty flavor. While it might seem like an odd choice to include on a charcuterie board since most people associate parmesan with pasta dishes rather than meat boards, there are plenty of ways to incorporate this into your meal! Some ideas include sprinkling it over top of prosciutto slices before serving them up or shaving off thin slices instead of cutting cubes off the block.
- Port wine cheddar - The purple outer color of this cheese adds an interesting visual to the board, and the wine adds a hint of sweetness.
Add Tart Vegetables
Tangy vegetables also help balance the richness and sweetness found in Italian charcuterie. For this job, we love pickled vegetables (giardineira), which can be a mixture of carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and pepperoncini. Serve these in a small bowl, as you would with spreads.
Finally, add your breads and crackers
Breads and crackers are essential for nearly any charcuterie board, and Italian boards are no different.
- Bread: If you don't have time to make bread yourself, consider purchasing a good baguette from your local bakery. You can also slice the bread and make it into toast, or you can buy crostini from your supermarket.
- Crackers: Be sure to include some crunchy Italian crackers like taralli, Carta di Musica, or simple croccantini.
Now that you know how to make an Italian charcuterie board, go for it! It’s the perfect party food and with so many indulgent combinations of meats, cheeses, breads, and crackers.