A Simple, Seasonal, Plant-Forward Approach to Charcuterie

A simple, seasonal, plant-forward approach to charcuterie + a savory nut and seed bread recipe compliments of our very own Allison Ryan Walton.

The beauty of charcuterie is that it lends itself to an abundance of imaginative wisdom and creative exploration. That is to say, options are limitless and every nosh guarantees slight variations in texture and tasting notes. Truly, a feast for the eyes and a recently coveted creative outlet that allows for plentiful moments of joy and serves as a beautiful centerpiece for dialogue and conversation. 

Typically, a good loaf of bread, a smooth bottle of wine, and a quality olive oil is the perfect starting place for a well-rounded charcuterie spread.

From there, color and variety offer vibrancy and good company:

fresh, fragrant herbs such as basil 
edible flowers from a local farm
salty green Sicilian olives 
dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)
red peppadews 
a soft goat cheese or vegan feta
nutty homemade pesto
whipped white miso
fermented hot sauce
pickled mustard seeds
a dollop of sweet honey
gooey madjool dates
and chunks of dark chocolate

Inspired by friends that know this love language inside out, it’s possible to close your eyes and briefly transport yourself to a quaint city in Southern Italy or the cliff sides of Santorini — enjoying with gratitude the fruits of every farmer’s labour that planted and harvested every morsel our bellies now receive. 

RECIPE: SAVORY NUT & SEED LOAF

As for the bread featured in this centerpiece, it’s dense, nutty, savory, and a little funky in the best way thanks to a last minute decision to sprinkle in some furikake. The original recipe was, and can be, adapted in a multitude of ways to work with ingredients and pantry items on hand. A few surprise showstoppers give it that extra whirl of wonder and delight. Va va voom this loaf is lively and good!

Begin the process by preheating the oven to 300F. Grease the bottom and sides of a bread pan with coconut oil (or line with wax paper). In a large bowl, combine approximately 1/2 cup each of the following diverse nuts and seeds (not all are necessary, work with what you have or prefer): 

roasted almonds
hazelnuts 
macadamia nuts
herbed cashews
pine nuts 
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds
sesame seeds
flax seeds

In a separate bowl, crack 6 large eggs and whisk well. Add 2 tsp salt and 5 tbsp olive oil. Fold in nut and seed mixture. If you’ve got the furikake, sprinkle generously!

Chop 1/2 cup of dates (pits removed) and add to bowl, stirring all ingredients together until well combined. Pour and press the mixture into the bread pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and let it cool completely, or overnight.

Slice, serve, and share alongside your beautiful charcuterie. (Give it a good smother with some white miso and olive oil, if I were you). 

Thanks and giving to all. Bon appetit!