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UPDATED: Dec 2020. Did someone say CharcuterTREE? IT ME!
Here’s my version of an edible Tannenbaum (I’ve basically been waiting all year to use that word!) with all your favorite cheese board fixings. It’s a great spread to serve as a simple appetizer because it has both sweet and savory items—plus it’s such a festive showpiece!
How Do You Build a Charcuterie Tree?
This board is one of my easiest and most approachable boards. Simply gather up cubed cheese, salami & some colorful accoutrements and line them up to create a tree shape. Add in some festive touches with cheese cut outs and garnish and you have yourself an impressive holiday appetizer.
Feel free to copy this one exactly or sub in some of your favorite ingredients to create the this festive appetizer.
Here’s my process.
- I start by gathering all the ingredients I’m going to use together. I like to see what colors, shapes, and flavors I have and if there are any gaps I need to fill.
- Cut all your harder cheeses (Cheddar, Colby Jack, etc) into cubes.
- Prep your salami by making salami folds and piling 3-4 pieces on a decorative toothpick (these pretty toothpicks from Simply Baked are my favorites). You could also consider adding a row of salami rosettes (tutorial in this post) for a fun touch.
- Start your tree layers! I started from the bottom, with cheese (Duh!), then continued up the tree, making sure each layer was slightly less wide than the last, to ensure the triangle tree shape.
- If you want to leave out briney items like olives, you can always just put a ramekin of those off to the side (or in a star ramekin on the top!) if you prefer.
- Create a tree trunk using pretzels at the bottom of the tree.
- Don’t forget to garnish! Add the rosemary sprigs to evoke the tree branch feeling. Then finish with star-shaped cookies and provolone stars cut-outs to act like decorative tree ordainments.
What’s On The Christmas Board?
- Cubed cheese: cheddar, colby jack, and havarti
- Cheese cut outs: I made snowflake & star cut outs using provolone slices
- Meat: regular, peppered, and Calabrese salami
- Produce: Castelvetrano olives, blackberries, raspberries
- Sweets: chocolate shortbread star cookies (I used the ones from Trader Joe’s)
- Garnish: pretzel sticks, rosemary sprigs
Alternative Ingredients to Try
Since this board is all about the color and shape, there are so many directions you can take it. If you feel overwhelmed by choices, I suggest sticking to a smaller color palette or flavor palette while you figure out the ingredients you want to include.
I always advocate that you use seasonal produce (it just tastes better!) and the ingredients that you and your crew love the most. If no one likes olives, don’t use olives! As always, make it your own.
- Cubed apple slices turned so that the outside color is showing. You can make sure to cut them in a way that they’ll sit flat and not wobble. Remember to use this apple trick so they don’t brown.
- Sugared cranberries would be such a delight on the top of this tree.
- Edamame for some fresh green color.
- Grapes of any color would be super fun.
- Flavored, colored Oreos turned on their side if you want to add more sweets to the mix. Just make sure they are crowded in by other ingredients so that they don’t roll away.
- Cherry tomatoes for a fun pop of red (or yellow!).
What Size of Board Did You Use?
This board is 14inx20in. Find similar wood boards in the SHOP THIS POST below. Remember to always check dimensions before you buy as some of these differ slightly.
Show Me Your Board
Nothing makes me happier than seeing you create beautiful boards from my tips. If you make a spread inspired by this post, please tag me at @ainttoooproudtomeg and use #AintTooProudToCheese so I can see and share!
And, if you liked this board recipe, please rate and review.
- Sharp Cheddar cut into cubes
- Havarti cut into cubes
- Colby Jack cut into cubes
- Provolone Slices for the snowflakes and stars
- Calabrese Salame these came in an easy-to-use 3 pack
- Italian Dry Salame
- Peppered Salame
- pretzel sticks for the tree bark
- suggestion to have crackers on this side
- Castelvetrano Olives
The Sweet Stuff
- Chocolate Covered Shortbread Stars from Trader Joes