With the heat this summer, I’m not one for cooking a big meal, even when friends drop by, I like just putting together a “board” with a few tasty things that people can nibble on. It’s perfect for entertaining or offering your family by the dock at the cottage or my favourite spot – under the elm tree by the barn. There is no magic to creating a beautiful board as long as you have a few things on hand to serve. Start with a wood board that is reserved for this type of occasion versus your daily cutting board.
Here are a few things that are great to have in your refrigerator and pantry.
- Cold meats like salami – spicy and mild, prosciutto, cured ham. If you are vegetarian, a combination of roasted and raw vegetables like roasted peppers and beets, raw carrots and fresh peas and beans. Nothing too sloppy that will drizzle over the edge of the board.
- Cheeses: I like both a soft cheese and a hard cheese like an old cheddar and a blue cheese of some sort, Stilton or one my favorites from Quebec like Bleu Bénédictin
- Fruits – whatever is in season, strawberries, grapes, plums, figs and dates
- Nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts
- A jam – of course our South Pond products like Roasted Garlic Jam or Onion Marmalade and Hotter than Hades Honey. I also like some other dips such as mustard or aioli.
- Pickles – we use a quick pickle for our garden beets and carrots but whatever you have on hand like cornichons or a sweet pickle works too.
- Lastly, crackers or bread.
Assemble everything on the board – there is no magic – this one has symmetry with the meat at the end and the cheese and pickles in the middle. Better to have more a little more room on the board than everything crammed in together. Serve with your favourite cocktail or a glass of wine in the shade!
Photo: Kim Magee Photography