Watch out charcuterie boards, vegetable boards are in town

Vegetable board perfect starter dish - the nomadic wife



A quick board for when friends come over

I always love having friends over, even when they pop by for an impromptu visit! Depending on the time of day they drop in, I like to whip up a quick something that we can snack on while we hang out and catch up (or just slow down long enough to take a good deep breath).

So, I started making this little spreads, inspired by the classic charcuterie board or cheese boards that are all over right now. The main hiccup is that we don't really keep fancy salted meats or strong cheese in the house so I got creative and started using what I love most, pulses and veggies.

simple cabbage & white bean salad - the nomadic wife
Cabbage with lime, cilantro & white bean makes the perfect salad - the nomadic wife

Something bright and fresh

The recipe of this post is the one you see above right here. It plays a crucial part in the board by adding a nice dash of bright zesty freshness! I make this salad for people who love cilantro, but you can easily swap that out for a parsley dressing if cilantro is in your hate pile.

The beans in here add a nice little light-lunch feel, where you feel full but not stuffed & to make the process even faster, I usually keep canned beans on hand so you don't need to worry about anything other than rinsing them and draining them well.

Simple cabbage and white bean salad - the nomadic wife

Good bread: The Foundation

If you're anything like me, you know a good crusty bread when you see one. For impromptu visitors, however, I tend to just pull flutes or baguettes out of the freezer, let them thaw a touch and pop them in the oven so they have that fresh-baked feel. It takes about 5-6 minutes for flutes and 10-15 for baguette which is about the time you'll need to put together the rest of the board. Perfect!

Be warned though, once bread is reheated after it comes out of the freezer it tends to get hard, so you may want to consider doing this with any leftovers.

Half smashed white bean dip - the nomadic wife
New alternative to charcuterie boards - the nomadic wife

Mix and match

Now comes the fun part. You have a bright, zesty salad and some good bread...time to round out this board.

My approach is simple. Cut up some veggies, call it good.

If you have avocado kicking around, a quick guac may be the way to go. If you don't use the whole can of beans you can turn THAT into a 5 min dip by blending it with olive oil, salt, paprika & a clove of garlic.

I also like to add freshly pickled or fermented things to the board. So kimchi, pickled veggies or olives make for a great way to take this thing over the top.



1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 14 oz can of white beans
Fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lime, juiced
Olive oil


Shred the cabbage & add it to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt.
Rinse & drain the beans and add them along with the chopped coriander.
Juice the lime over the bowl, drizzle olive oil and toss until everything is well coated.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.