Can you call it a charcuterie board if there’s no meat on the board? If the cheese on the board is baked into crunchy, delicious bites? If it’s made up mostly of summer’s bounty? I’m claiming the faux on this one and calling it a Summer Charcuterie Board, whether I should or not. Because it’s easy like summer and pretty like a charcuterie board.

This post is sponsored by Stacy’s new line of Cheese Petites™, made with real cheese. It’s the first ingredient. We’ve been buying Stacy’s pita chips for years and are totally smitten with these Cheese Petites. Thank you for supporting the brands that I support.

When it comes to hosting, I’m not all that great at feeding people before dinner time. Nor am I all that great at making sure water glasses stay full. Help yourself? There is no recipe for the water situation. But there is a very simple recipe for the pre-dinner feeding. If you can even call it a recipe. Sliced, ribboned, and whole summer bounty on a board. Plus a dip for the veggies. And a couple sorts of crunchy for variety. Skip preparing a dinner salad, and make a Summer Charcuterie Board. Let’s throw this together real quick.

Add plenty of vegetables and fruit

Some vegetables are great right off the plant. And others need a tiny bit of blush to brighten things up. Take squash, for example. Cut it into thin ribbons and sprinkle with a tiny bit of kosher salt. (This is my favorite, efficient vegetable slicing tool.) Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, until the salt as been absorbed. Or radishes. Thinly slice and quick pickle. This can be done in advance. Ripe fruit is perfect on its own. Just slice. Or, in the case of champagne grapes, just place on the board.

Add a Dip or two

You’ve brightened up your veggies as needed. Now add a dip or two for added flavor. Try an herb infused olive oil (basil or rosemary), reduced balsamic vinegar, or a dressing.

Something Crunchy

Vary colors, size, and flavors on the board. And don’t forget to vary texture, too. Add something crunchy, like nuts or Stacy’s Cheese Petites™. Parmesan with Rosemary is my favorite flavor. It’s herby and light and made with real cheese (it’s the first ingredient). On vacation recently, we bought a bag of the Romano with Garlic & Pepper. They’re sharp, peppery, and delicious and lasted about as long as a game of Nertz (not very long at all). Maybe get an extra bag while you’re at it? Head over to stacyssnacks.com if you’re in to deals. They have a discount code on these gems.

Now back to figuring out how to be a good host, keep water glasses full, and get dinner on the table. Maybe one day I’ll be able to call Nertz on that game. Probably not.

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