Here’s How To Craft The Ultimate Vegan Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are usually filled to the brim with cured meat, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. You should be able to enjoy the thrills of a charcuterie board without going anywhere near any animal products. It’s all about spices, textures and contrasting flavors. Here’s how you can craft the ultimate vegan charcuterie board for your next dinner party.
Luckily the world of vegan cheeses is so vast that you won’t have any problems finding an array of dairy-free cheeses for your board. With vegan cheese shops around the country — like Dr-Cow and Riverdel Cheese in Brooklyn and Vromage in Los Angeles — you can find almost any style of cheese in a dairy-free version. You can also find vegan cheese companies like Miyoko’s, Treeline, and Chao in retail shops around the country. Check out a variety of cheeses for your board ranging from something aged to soft to firm to blue.
Whether it’s pickled cucumbers, carrots, peaches, radishes, red onions, mango, green beans, jalapeño or fennel, the tanginess that comes from pickling a fruit or vegetable is unrivaled. Kimchi, in any variety, will be a crowd-pleaser on a charcuterie board for fermented food lovers. Any vegetables or fruit you might have in your kitchen can become a pickled snack with a classic brine of white vinegar, lemon, sugar, mustard seeds, fennel, dill and sea salt.
Nuts are always a must-have for a cheeseboard or vegan charcuterie board. You’ll add a variety of textures and a dose of those necessary healthy fats. Depending on the flavor profiles on your board, roasted and candied nuts are best with red wines and rich flavors. Spiced nuts are better for a lighter board, while something like pickled peaches that can pair with a fruity white wine.
Slices of a French baguette are common with a charcuterie board, but you can use this as your time to get creative. If the bread is too carby on its own, go for crackers or crisps. Aim for a variety of textures and flavors to complement the bread. Have some sliced sourdough, sesame crackers and a couple of herbed pita crackers. You want to give people the best possible vehicles to carry their food.
To give your sourdough extra texture and flavor, brush it with olive oil and grill it until it gets crunchy. You could also sprinkle a little bit of smoked paprika on top of the baguette or sourdough for a smokey addition.
The world is your oyster when it comes to vegan dips and spreads. For a Mediterranean-themed board, try this smoked baba ganoush, cashew butter hummus, eggplant walnut dip or coconut yogurt tzatziki sauce. If you’re into umami-rich foods, try this creamy carrot miso butter. For something a little smokey, go for this smokey cauliflower and white bean dip or this BBQ tahini sauce. Thanks to nutritional yeast, you can enjoy all of the cheesy-ish dips like this loaded queso or chipotle tomato queso. Spread the dip on the sliced sourdough with some of these nut cheeses and you’ll forget meat was ever an option.