After the holidays, winter can quickly turn gray, dark and depressing. After all, there’s a reason they’re called the winter blues. But just because it’s bleak outside doesn’t mean your food has to be bland! Use colorful offerings and ingredients to brighten up your charcuterie platter and beat the winter blues.
Here are a few selections that will add flavor and color to your charcuterie plate:
Corn Relish. Dark cured meats, monochrome cheeses, and a spattering of dark green olives and cornichons can make your platter look dull. Try using corn relish as a delicious side to add beautiful color to your dish. Traditionally a southwestern side, corn relish is made with whole corn kernels, red and green bell peppers, peppercorns, sugar, and cider vinegar. Corn relish is typically canned and stored, so you can pull it off the shelf in the dead of winter for brilliant color. Not only is it bright in color, but the combination of sugar and vinegar (some variations on the recipe call for dill or mustard seed) will add bright flavors to your charcuterie platter as well!
Hummus. Hummus is a delicious and versatile dip for the breads and vegetables on your platter. Because hummus can be flavored in so many different ways, its color is really up to you! Try basil pesto hummus for a bright green, roasted red pepper hummus for deep red, or spicy hummus for a variety of colors according to the spices and peppers you use.
Dipping Sauces. Just like adding hummus for your sides, including dipping sauces for your meats will add flavor and color or your platter. Mustard is one of the world’s oldest condiments, and because it is so easy to make, it comes in a variety of flavors (and shades!). Classic yellow, Dijon, honey, spicy brown, whole grain, hot, mild, sweet, spicy—you name it. Another popular charcuterie dip is sticky fig jam, which can be sweet or savory depending on your taste, and will add a lovely color palette to your meats.