Parisian Dinner Party: Charcuterie, Cheese & Vegan "Boards"
This recipe is part of a series about throwing a dinner party like a Parisian. Stay tuned all week to see how the entire soirée comes together.
When thinking about the guests at my party, I recognized that it was a diverse bunch. My brother's friend Jakob, who is a vegan, was coming. My mom is a cheese-lover, and my father adores salami. This was the perfect chance to create a trio of boards, if you will. I love setting these up on my living room coffee table so that as guests come in, they can nibble. It also buys you (the host) some time to put together finishing touches.
For the vegan option, I set out a bunch of fresh vegetables. I think radishes are key here, because they add a beautiful color and somehow, immediately make the board feel French. Sort of. I served the vegetables with hummus, that I topped with olive oil and everything bagel spices. Have you tried this yet? It's addicting!
When styling this plate, I tried to angle all of the vegetables around the side bowl with hummus. I find that by doing this, the whole dish has a cohesive look and feel.
For the cheese, I wanted to do something simple rather than an entire cheese board. I used a triple crème (L'explorateur) which I love because it is soft enough to be spread on crackers. It's very rich and creamy. I also set out an assortment of crackers and dried fruits.
For the charcuterie, I wanted a pâté, along with some salami. I added prosciutto to the mix because I had some on hand. Remember that this is a free for all: get creative! I also served the meats with mustard and cucumbers. I like the acidity of mustard which helps cut through the fat of any of the meats. The cucumbers add a bright green pop to the otherwise entirely red plate. I also like eating a piece of salami with a crunchy cucumber right on top. Is that weird? Oh well.
It's nice to serve some baguette alongside the charcuterie and cheese. I noticed my guests were making mini toasts. Ripping off a chewy hunk of baguette, slathering it with cheese, and washing it all down with a Kir Royale. Here is a nice photo of everyone enjoying the snacks before dinner :)
What are your favorite pre-dinner snacks to put out as guests arrive? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
photos cannot be shared, downloaded or repurposed for any reason without written credit to Jane Poretsky + Be Like Family