According to Lauren Clark, a DC-based Charcuterie expert and founder of LC . designsThe first items to collect when planning a fruit charcuterie board are, of course, the fruits. For picture-perfect plates, it is always great to find a variety of colors and textures, but from the point of view of taste, a good combination of flavors is also important. The combination of sweet and tart elements helps give your palate something it deserves.
In summer, Clark loves passion fruit and other seasonal selections such as cherries, strawberries, apricots, figs and oranges. If you’re looking for more variety, you can even add easy-to-eat summer vegetables like sliced peppers and peas.
The way you cut and present your fruits (and vegetables) also plays a big role in making your presentation look professional. Try mixing the shapes you use, linking them together, and layering in interesting ways that make the colors pop. “I like to slice the strawberries horizontally and create these little ‘slices’ and then spread them out on a board so it’s really eye-catching,” Clark says.
You can fan anything sliced–apple, orange, or watermelon–into a center circle, a wave crisscrossing the board, or even in a heart shape to add structure. Clark also recommends stacking items or “cutting blueberries and blackberries in half or making zigzag cuts on kiwis for fun.” You can use tools around your kitchen like melon balls and cookie cutters to get creative. To add a touch of green and texture, you can also leave the leaves on the strawberries or the peel on the kiwi (yes, it’s actually edible!). To keep the fruit looking fresh and delay browning and oxidation, you can try to cut it in water, using a very sharp knife, or smear it with lemon juice, but it is better to prepare the fruit as soon as possible.
Besides cutting patterns, you can also add a base and decorate your board with fun things. To avoid blank spots on the board as people start picking the fruits, which can make your presentation look scattered, Clark suggests covering the base with slices of orange, blueberries, assorted nuts, or dried fruit that you’ll peek into and fill in the gaps. However, if you’re using a wooden board, colored plate, or patterned tray, a peek might not be a bad thing. Finally, to finish off the chalkboard and add an extra seasonal touch, accessories are key. Try adding edible flowers, crackers, yogurt, or even a honeycomb before doing a full Instagram photoshoot.
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