The best part about assembling a charcuterie board in the late summer is the abundance of local fruit! Slice them up and serve them fresh, or try grilling or roasting fruits to bring out more of their sweet flavour. It can be easy to get carried away with all of the selection, but if you choose 3 – 4 fruits, that will be a good starting point from which you can begin to pair preserves and cheeses. Below is a list of fruit you could include:
- Fresh Strawberries – or try roasting them!
- Sliced Fresh Peaches – or try grilling them!
- Sliced Fresh Figs (we typically get figs in early august, and then again in late September)
- Fresh Plums
- Concord Grapes
- Bartlet Pears
- First of the season apples
Preserves, Jams & Spreads
If you’ve already been canning and pickling this summer then this is a good time to crack open a few jars and sample it with friends. Or, this weekend could be your chance to roast some fruit and freeze in a jar for the winter – just be sure to set a little aside for your summer evening charcuterie board. If you’re not really the canning type, you can just as easily pick up a few jams, jellies and pickles from the market!
- Roasted Strawberries (Click here for a recipe)
- Maple Vanilla Roasted Plums (Click here for a recipe)
- Peach & Jalapeno Jelly (Click here for a recipe)
Or, try East Van Jam’s Peach & Ginger Jam
- Balsamic Reduction
try Nonna Pia’s original balsamic reduction
Pickles & Savoury Bites
Sangria Olives or Sweet Basil Olives
I love a savoury olive, but sweet olives just say summer like nothing else can.
Mexican Quick Pickles (Click here for a recipe)
Try this recipe, or use pickled dilly beans from the market!
Try this recipe, or pick up a jar of Salt Spring Kitchen’s candied jalapenos here at the market!
When selecting cheese, think about what will pair with the preserves on your board. For a jelly, you’ll want to have a soft cheese that can spread onto a cracker or bread. With pickles, a hard, sharp cheese will pair nicely. In the end, the best cheese to include is the cheese that you love! 2 – 3 cheeses is a good number to start with. Here are the cheeses we used on the board from these photos:
- Lady Jane by Farm House Natural Cheeses
- Sunshine Feta by Little Qualicum
- Fig & Balsamic Soft Goat Cheese
Meat / Charcuterie
Choose mild-flavoured meats that will pair with all of the sweet flavours from the summer fruits. For a good variety, I recommend a salami, a pepperoni and always prosciutto! Ask for it to be sliced thin so that you can easily roll it on top of a cracker with preserves. Below is what we used for this board:
- Lepp’s Fennel Salami
Crackers, Breads & Nuts
- Simple plain crackers
- Crackers with nuts & seeds
- Roasted Nuts (Click here for a recipe)
or, pick up a bag of Naked Snacks Maple Prailine Almonds