Thanksgiving is a flurry of food and festivities, highlighting turkey, stuffing, casseroles galore, and all the pies! Whether you’re hosting or tasked with bringing the perfect dish to contribute, this Thanksgiving charcuterie board with pumpkin-sage hummus will provide an exquisite centerpiece to keep guests happy and satisfied while waiting for the main event. Recipe developer Julie Kinnaird shares how to assemble the perfect fall-themed appetizer spread that has something to delight everyone. This display is easily put together using a mix of prepared ingredients and pantry staples. The basic formula will allow you to easily size up or down depending on the amount of people you want to feed.
Charcuterie displays lend themselves to seasonal themes, as the selections of meats, cheeses, briney vegetables, and condiments can be tailored to complement the event. Having a focal item like the pumpkin-sage hummus gives a starting point to build flavors and accompaniments around. This board uses seasonal fruits like pears, pomegranates, persimmons, and blood oranges to play against robust aged cheddars and cranberry stilton. Basic ratios of 2 ounces of cheese and 2 ounces of meat per person allow for personal preference and creativity with the selections. In the cheese category, choose something soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, and hard to give variety in texture and flavor. Meats should also vary in variety of texture, spice, smoke, or salt. Breads and crackers serve as vessels for eating the items from the board, and should be chosen to compliment the flavors and consistencies.
For the hummus
15-ounce can white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the board
1 pound mixed cheese varieties (4 or 5 total, such as brie, cranberry Stilton, aged cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Leicester)
1 pound mixed thinly sliced cured meats (3 total, such as prosciutto, salami, soppressata)
3 pears, sliced, mixed varieties (red Bartlett, Asian, Seckel)
1 pomegranate, cut into chunks
5 fresh figs, halved
2 kiwi, cut into rounds
1 large persimmon, cut into wedges
1 blood orange, cut into slices
½ cup dried apricots
1 cup mixed olives (Kalamata, Cerignola)
¼ cup cornichons or other pickles
¼ cup marinated peppers
8 ounces mixed nuts of different varieties (Marcona almonds, pecans, walnuts)
4 ounces Inca corn
1 small baguette, sliced thin
8 ounces breadsticks
8 ounces thin crackers, 2 different varieties (fig and olive, rosemary croccantini)
¼ cup raw honey
¼ cup whole grain or other mustard
Fresh herbs or greenery for decorative garnish (sage, rosemary)
Place all hummus ingredients in a food processor.
Process until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed (about 1 minute total). Set hummus aside until ready to add to the charcuterie board.
Arrange the cheeses on the board. Choose something soft, semi-soft, hard, and aged for differences in texture and flavor. Leave some cheese whole and slice others for visual contrast.
Add empty serving bowls to the board to use for the hummus, honey, mustard, and wet ingredients, such as mixed olives or pickles.
Add the meats. These can be rolled, folded, fanned out, or shaped into ribbons and tucked around the bowls and cheeses.
Arrange fruits on the board.
Fill the bowls with the hummus and other appropriate items.
Use the nuts and breads/crackers to fill any remaining space. Use a separate board or platter if needed for the extra items.
Serve the Thanksgiving charcuterie board with a variety of serving spoons or tongs. Add fresh herbs or greenery as a decorative garnish, if desired.