Elevate Your Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board With A Salami Rose

Boxes of sweethearts and candy grams were prime Valentine's Day gifts to look forward to as kids, but as adults, we've expanded our range to include treats that are just a little fancier. If you're cooking dinner for date night, a Galentine's celebration, or just a fun evening for yourself, what better way to kick it off than with a themed charcuterie board and a glass of red wine? While sweet treats are certainly welcome on these festive boards, you don't need to jump straight into red candy or chocolate to make yours scream Valentine's Day. Instead, fashion your salami into aesthetically pleasing, yet still delicious, roses.

Salami is ideal here not only because of its vibrant red color but also because it's sturdy enough to morph into a rose that won't fall over at the slightest breeze. And while this shape is cute enough that it may sound difficult to accomplish, it only takes a few minutes and a shot glass (or an egg cup) to whip it up. You don't need to be a master chef — you just need to be able to fold a few slices of meat. Plus, these roses take up enough space that you'll only need a few.

Salami roses are red, violets are blue

Once you have your salami roses ready to go, follow the instructions Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye offers with her Valentine's Day charcuterie board and arrange them strategically so they'll pop against the neutral colors of any cheese, bread, and crackers you're using. You likely won't need more than two or three total, but keep them away from the edges so they draw the eye in. And when it comes to the board, pick one that matches the feel of the night you're going for. Do you want fancy, slick marble, for instance, or homey, heart-shaped wood?

When you've narrowed it down, feel free to fill the rest of your appetizer with red, pink, white, or dark-colored foods to stick to the Valentine's Day theme. Similarly, red meats like ham and prosciutto work beautifully here, along with cranberry-flecked goat cheese and rich, creamy brie. But if you want to go the extra mile, track down some flamingo-colored Red Windsor, or dye your cheese pink with beet juice, and cut out little heart shapes. Other savory ideas include beet hummus, cherry tomatoes, popcorn, and black olives, but don't be shy about piling on sweet ingredients either. Strawberries, cherries, and chocolates are classics, but you can also add little cups of marshmallow cream or Nutella, brownie bites, raspberry jam, ricotta-stuffed dates, pomegranate seeds, or Pocky sticks.