We love Valentine’s Day here at Oakford Gourmet Selections and are excited to be going into the season of love. Putting together a Valentine’s Day charcuterie board is such a fun change to our everyday boards, allowing you to bring in more reds, pinks, and cute lovely accessories.
BACK TO THE BASICS - WHAT IS A GRAZING BOARD?
A grazing board is an elevated casual way for you and your friends/guests to nosh. Generally served on a wooden board or platter, grazing boards combine the best of cheese platters and charcuterie platters together to make one beautiful and delicious board of foods. Grazing boards generally include cheeses, meats, grains/bread, fruits, vegetables, and sweets. The most important factor to a grazing board is to include foods that you and your guests love.
HOLIDAY GRAZING BOARDS
One of my favorite things about grazing boards is that you can really customize them and give them themes for the time of year that you’re in. As a Utah charcuterie board caterer, creating different themed boards is a fun option to offer our clients. Last month we talked about setting up a Christmas charcuterie board, but now that we’re in the season of love we’re compiling the best foods to incorporate onto a board.
With holiday grazing boards, its easy to incorporate the holiday by bringing in thematic colors and shapes. I love to use cookie cutters in specific shapes for foods, in this case, hearts, as well as foods in reds, pinks, and whites.
VALENTINE’S DAY FOODS TO INCORPORATE ONTO GRAZING BOARDS
GRAZING BOARD CHEESES: I always include at least three different types of cheese. Make sure to use a selection of hard, semi soft and soft cheeses. For Valentine’s day, I typically stick to the lighter/whiter cheeses like Manchego cut into thin slices and Brie shaped into a heart.
GRAZING BOARD MEATS: For a Valentine’s Board I like to stick to light pink colored meats like salami and ham. Like the cheeses, meats are an easy way to incorporate heart shapes using cookie cutters or simply cutting into the shape using a kitsch knife. And, of course, this is the perfect holiday to practise making those salami & prosciutto roses.
GRAZING BOARD FRUIT: Fruits are the easiest way to bring in the reds into a Valentine’s Day grazing board. The obvious candidates are strawberries cut into halves then spread open, but other options to consider are pomegranates, raspberries, red grapes and cherries. If you're feeling extra, strawberries also make gorgeous looking roses with some simple cuts.
GRAZING BOARD CRACKERS: We love using crackers on a Valentine’s Day grazing board rather than bread. Popular cracker companies like Pepperidge Farm, Valley Lavosh, and Kellogg’s make heart-shaped crackers which are so fun to incorporate into a themed grazing board! Incorporating lighter crackers like water crackers and white cheddar popcorn are a fun addition too!
GRAZING BOARD SWEETS: I think it’s fair to say that Valentine's day is the perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate. There are so many themed Valentine’s Day candies available at this time of the year the possibilities are endless. It’s fun to incorporate opened candies as well as wrapped candies throughout the board like pink Hershey Kisses, white chocolate dipped pretzels, and seasonal chocolates like lindt balls.
GRAZING BOARD DIPS: Like all of my other boards, my favorite dips to incorporate include hummus (both plain and flavored), artichoke dips, jams, and jellies. Think about what other flavors you have on your board, and use dips that compliment them. I love to fill Brie heart cutouts with berry preserves or fresh made jams. The important thing to think of with a Valentine’s Day board is putting the dips into love-themed vessels. Linking some of my favorites below!
The easiest way to give a grazing board a theme is through the platters and bowls used. For Valentine’s Day, break out the pink and red heart-shaped bowls, use “lovely” napkins, and incorporate cocktail sticks with hearts on them.
As long as you incorporate foods and treats that you love, your Valentine’s Day grazing board is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Drop a comment to tell me what items you incorporated into your board!
Karen Ormsby is the founder and owner of Oakford Gourmet Selections. Karen is an Australian native who brings her diverse and educated palate to creating beautiful, artistic, and delicious charcuterie boards and grazing platters. Located outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, Oakford Gourmet Selections provides charcuterie and grazing catering perfect for any sized events including girl's nights, weddings, receptions, engagements, parties, networking events, and more.