Give leftover charcuterie second life as a spread

Photo: Stacey Ballis

It happens to the best of us. We go to the charcuterie section of the grocery store to build a platter for a party and head down the rabbit hole of delicious cured meats. Thin, melting leaves of prosciutto, cured salamis of all styles, spicy soppressata and coppa, a slab of mortadella. And at the end of the party? Often you’re left with a platter that has one or two slices of each left. Not really enough to kit out another platter, but definitely too much to throw away.

The cured meats are also not really at their prime at the end of the night. They’re a little dry and maybe curling at the edges. They haven’t gone bad, because they’re cured. But they aren’t perfect. Sure, it’s enough for one really terrific sandwich, but what if there were a way to extend their life even further?

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The frugal French created a cheese spread called fromage fort as a way of saving the little ends of cheese that were no longer worth serving. Blend the cheeses with a bit of leftover wine, some seasonings, maybe even an herb or spice, give it all a quick blitz in the food processor, and you have a wonderful spread that is perfect for a second gathering.

Turns out, you can do a similar thing with your leftover cured meats. Since they don’t have much inherent moisture left, they need a little help from some dairy, but give the remnants of your meat platter a spin in your processor with some cheese, and you have a spreadable paté that’s delicious and will last a week in your fridge.

It’s so good, you might just overbuy your meats next time to ensure you have enough to make this the next day.


Photo: Stacey Ballis
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Leftover Charcuterie Spread

  • 6 oz. assorted charcuterie, cubed if needed
  • 2 oz. ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, or softened goat cheese
  • 1 oz. grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, or aged cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Pulse the meats in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cheeses and cream. Blend until smooth. Add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may not need any salt at all, depending on the saltiness of the meat you start with. Serve with bread or crackers, whole grain mustard, fig jam, and olives or cornichons.

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