A Christmas Tree Shaped Charcuterie board is so festive but also so easy. This will be a show stopper at any party and the ingredient options are almost endless! Not really a recipe, but I’m here to inspire you to decorate your own “tree” for the appetizer table.
The following post is sponsored by Cache Valley Creamery. All the opinions and comments about Cache Valley Cheese are my own.
Charcuterie boards and options run the gambit and never so much as during the holidays. Any get together, any time of year, is a great excuse for letting your creative juices flow when it comes to putting together cheese and accompaniments. So, let’s dress this Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board with a few easy tips to really show off your cheese board.
How to make a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board-
Start with the tree “limbs” using herbs like rosemary (my favorite) or thyme, mint, or even fresh basil. You could use greenery from the florist area of your grocery store but make sure it’s not treated and is food-safe.
Here’s where the creativity kicks in! Use your imagination for everything from the trunk to the types of cheese and the fruits or other fill-ins. You can use a celery stalk for the trunk, or here I’ve wrapped stick pretzels around goat cheese. I’m making this “tree” a vegetarian charcuterie so between the cheese, I’m filling in with grapes and blueberries. But you can make the board using deli meats, or other fruits like blackberries and raspberries. What I typically look for is color and variety.
Cache Valley Creamery cheese is such a great option for me in my area. If you can get it, I highly recommend it. They’ve been in business since the 1930’s and are 100% owned by American dairy farmers. I’ve decided on Colby Jack, Pepper Jack and Swiss for this tree.
Ingredient options for a charcuterie board-
Cheese- Use a good variety of cheese to please every palette. I like to use cheese that is different colors, and make sure they’re bite sized. For some fun, I cut stars out of cheese slices for the Christmas Tree Charcuterie, you can use your imagination for this too to fit the occasion.
Fruit- Whatever fruit is in season works for your charcuterie, and again, look for variety of color and texture. Around the holidays, star fruit is fun because they’re instant star shapes when sliced. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries all are beautiful and work well with the cheese. Cranberries and pomegranate ariels sprinkled here on my tree become instant twinkling lights.
Meats- Deli meats cut into bite-size pieces or sliced and rolled and secured with toothpicks work well on any charcuterie.
Vegetables- Color varieties like broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers all work well. Think of vegetables that are tasty when paired with cheese.
Pickles and olives- A variety of pickles and olives are perfect with cheese, meats, and vegetables for your charcuterie tree.
Nuts- Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, just to name a few are all delicious either sprinkled around or placed in small bowls near the charcuterie tree.
Crackers- I like to use a variety of crackers in different shapes and sizes. Even some shortbread cookies here and there are wonderful!
Finish up your Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board with some star cut cheeses and fruits. Here I’ve cut persimmons into stars and you can use star fruit which just needs to be sliced and placed around the other ingredients! Follow up by arranging favorite crackers and that’s it! You can go pretty simple or very fancy. This is a fun appetizer that pleases everyone and becomes an instant conversation piece as well. Don’t have a wooden board? No problem! I’ve seen great charcuterie arrangements using a big sheet of butcher paper. Just arrange your charcuterie tree on the butcher paper and when it’s all gone, clean up is a breeze!
What types of charcuterie boards are there?
Not only is there a long list of ingredients available for a charcuterie board, the type of charcuterie board is also extensive. Whether vegetarian, meat lovers, or even dessert-centered, you can get creative with a host of themes for your charcuterie board.
Christmas Tree Shaped Charcuterie Board
- 10 fresh Rosemary sprigs more or less depending on size
- 1 celery stalk
- red, green, and black seedless grapes clipped into small clusters or remove stems completely if you like
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cut into ¾-inch squares or whatever size you like
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cut the same size as other cheeses
- 4 ounces cheddar mild, or medium. Cut into equal size as other cheeses
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 1-2 star fruits sliced
- 1 cup assorted nuts
- 1 green kiwi fruit sliced
- Make the outline of your tree using the sprigs of rosemary starting at the top, spreading out farther as you go down. You may need to adjust and rearrange them as you start adding your edible ingredients.
- Place the celery stem at the bottom for the trunk of the tree, whatever length looks good to you. This entire process is kind of by sight and what looks good to you.
- Start at the bottom of your "tree", with each row more narrow than the last, I like to place a row of cheese, then red grapes, another row of cheese, green grapes, last row of cheese, then black grapes. Then place kiwi slices in triangle shape to create the "top" of the tree.
- Place one slice of star fruit at the very top for the star (see notes if you cannot find star fruit). Then add additional star fruit slices randomly over the "tree". Add cranberries sporadically around the tree as well as the mixed nuts. If you have room, the nuts could be the "pot" that the tree comes out of. Almonds work best for this, in a square shape at the bottom of the celery stem, covering the very bottom of it.
- Your creation is ready! You can assemble up to 4 hours ahead of serving, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- This recipe is just a guide for your Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board. You can add sliced deli meats in rows if you want a meat and cheese board. The meats can be rolled up and placed in a row.
- Use whatever cheese you like. You can experiment with gourmet cheeses or even cheese curds.
- You could create more star shapes for the tree using a small star shape cookie cutter. Cut cheese into star shapes, placing around the tree and for the star on top.