If there's one thing I love, it's a three-day weekend. They're far and few, so when they come around, I'm all about them. More often than not, I prefer to get out of town and get to exploring. But, when an extra day is involved, I love hosting, having people over, and sometimes, taking that extra day just for me! Sometimes, it's nice to put together a little somethin' somethin' - whatever the occasion. Girls' night? You betcha. Date night for two? Yes, yes. Solo night in? Absolutely. So, in the spirit of the three day weekend, I've partnered with Columbus Craft Meats to give you three easy peasy charcuterie plate ideas. You can take one, take all, mix, match - whatever works for you!
The Fruit Favorer
First up, the fruit favorer. If you're having a day time soiree and want something light to munch on, a fruit-heavy plate is often a great way to go. The best part is you can get whatever is in season and load up! For me, I'm all about the cherries and berries. Since both cherries and strawberries tend to be on the sweeter side, I balanced them out with a saltier meat option, Columbus's Italian Dry salame. A fruit and meat plate is also incredibly easy - I heavied up on the fruit, switching between three different fruits, as shown above.
The Cheese Craver
Perhaps the most classic charcuterie plate is the cheese plate. A good cheese plate has a few different types of cheeses (a rich, creamy cheese, an aged solid, and a crumble are some good starters). Because I chose some richer, creamier cheeses (Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam shown above), I decided to pair them with some "spicier" meats. For me, this meant Columbus's Genoa (seasoned with black pepper and garlic) and Calabrese (seasoned with zesty chili peppers). Don't forget to add bread and crackers to balance out your plate.
The Preferrer of Pickles
Finally, what I like to call my snacker plate. Olives and cornichons are the perfect bite-sized snackers for any charcuterie plate. (I like to make this particular one for a solo-night in.) Because both of these are on the tart and briny side of the flavor spectrum, I like to pair them with a sweeter meat - Sopressata. But, that doesn't mean you can't experiment. Up above, you'll see I also paired them with the Calabrese to add a little zest to go along with my crunch. While it's easy to just lay everything out on your plate, sometimes skewers or toothpicks make the munching that much easier.
All Photos By: JennyMay
Of course, let it be known that I am no charcuterie expert. That being said, I do like my food, so I may know a thing or two about what tastes yummy in my tummy. And, Columbus Craft Meats makes charcuterie plating that much easier with their Charcuterie Sampler. It's the absolute best for anyone looking to wow their guests with a banging charcuterie or appetizer spread. (A little hint: the back of the box includes four different pairing options with each of the meats.) So, if you find yourself hosting this long-weekend, try one of the plates above, all three, or one of the four plating options Columbus Craft Meats shares on their Charcuterie Sampler. Regardless of your choice, you'll wow 'em with the quality of your meat.
Thank you to Columbus Foods for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. I've been eating Columbus Craft Meats since I was yay high. (I actually have a secret addiction for salami. So much so, that I really have to limit myself when I head to the store, because someone a pack will always make it into my basket.) So as you can imagine, partnering together was nothing short of a pleasure.