Food

How to Build a Charcuterie Board

How to Build a Charcuterie Board

We’ve always loved a good cheese plate, but a delicious twist is to serve a charcuterie board, filled with different meats — salami, prosciutto, pâté — and mustard, olives and bread. It’s perfect for kicking back with friends this summer. (And it takes a second to put together, if people drop by.) So, as part of our month of party snacks, here’s how to build one…

How to Build a Charcuterie Board

You’ll need:

Soft meats, like sliced prosciutto and mortadella
Hard cured sausage, such as chorizo or salami
Pâté or rillette
Whole grain mustard
Cornichon pickles and olives
Crusty bread and nutty crackers

You want different textures of meat — soft, hard, spreadable — so here we went with thin prosciutto and thick cured sausage. (Think about 3 ounces of charcuterie per person.) Then add a spreadable meat, like a pâté or rillette. Pair with thick slices of bread and crackers. Balance things out with something crunchy and briny: Place olives in small bowls, smear grainy mustard directly onto the platter, and nestle cornichon pickles around the board. Serve with a sparkling Italian red wine, like Lambrusco, or saison beer (a fruity pale ale with a bit of fizz). Enjoy!

Charcuterie Board

Thoughts? What do you set out for guests?

P.S. More tasty recipes, including monochromatic fruit salad and the perfect cheese plate.

(Photos by Seth Smoot, styling by Kendra Smoot for Cup of Jo. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)

  1. so random but cornichons are one of my favorite foods hahah! they’re just so adorable

    love charcuterie platters- simple and yet so elegent

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  2. I’ve always wanted to make a cold cuts board meal! I will definitely save this in my bookmarks ;)

  3. Shannon says...

    Anyone tried new restaurant Cherry Point over on Manhattan Ave.? Good charcuterie? It’s been on my mind.

  4. Gemma says...

    I love this idea. We do this kind of thing but I usually have some kind of cheese tartlet and a potato salad too. Any advice for what I can add for my veggie friends? I’m in the UK so some things I might have to have a good hunt for.

  5. I adore such fabric for a quick bite. Often eating at home so.

  6. This is my kind of meal. I feel like I couldn’t mess it up. Meat, cheese, and bread. How could this possibly go wrong?

    http://www.typeatypeb.com

  7. yummi!!!
    hundred times YES!

  8. Lindsay Marie says...

    Every Sunday I serve this for lunch and we always love it and it’s so easy. We also have little wooden bread boards for each person. Salami, ham, prosciutto, pate, cornichons, mustard, different cheeses, good bread and crackers…apples, pears, grapes…. And “fancy drinks” as my kids call them, non alcoholic sparkling drinks like melon (from whole foods )is my current favorite!

  9. Maggie says...

    What a great conversation that Lucy and Charlie Rose conducted last night.. Just amazing.

  10. Samantha says...

    Call me crazy, but I need some sweet jam type of thing in there, like cranberry jam or something. *mouth waters*

    • Sheri says...

      I like to serve a Raspberry Jalapeño Jelly or any type of hot pepper jelly that provides a sweet and spicy element and pairs well with the meats and the cheeses.

  11. This will be perfect for entertaining friends this summer in Zurich (where I currently live). Thanks for the tip!

  12. Patricia says...

    Typical French apéro ! We often add “white ham” (Jambon blanc = jambon de Paris”), sometimes lonzu or coppa (delicious cured meat from Corsica, my favorites), cherry tomatos and vegetable sticks… and fig or onion jam ! Red sparkling wine is a no no for me. For cooked charcuterie (pâté, rillettes…), i would choose a strong wine like a Saumur Champigny or a Bordeaux ; with raw charcuterie (prosciutto…), a fruity/light red wine like a Pinot Noir or a Brouilly. But (good news, Joanna !) charcuterie also loves white wine, like Corbières or Pinot Blanc, or even a good rosé. I am hungry now !

  13. So delicious and also elegant.

  14. Tawny says...

    I’m excited to make a vegan version of this for parties! There are so many delicious options out there now that do not include animal products.

  15. Lisa says...

    There was a deli (sadly closed down) near us that had the best cold meat selection – home made pastrami, salt beef and turkey slices served with rye bread, three types of mustard (one normal, one whole grain and one sweetish one), pickles and coleslaw. It was soooo good.

  16. Casey says...

    Living on Lake Superior we do very similar plates with the cheese, meats, jam and breads but often there is smoked white fish, trout or salmon :) I usually go to the local fish shop, Thill’s Fish House that is about 3 feet away from the waters edge. Love smoked flavor and of course the saltiness ;)

    • Kate says...

      Hi Casey! It’s great to see your comment–I’m from Ishpeming (now living in Denver, though). I’m craving smoked fish now!!

  17. I set out cheese, hummus, jams, jellies, and all the bread. I don’t eat red meat so that’s my kind of snack board. :D

  18. joanna says...

    This is also a staple for us whenever we entertain, and always the first thing to go! Trader Joes sells sausages and pre-packed mixed cured meats if you’re not able to get to the fancy store. Wegmans has a good selection as well. We arrange the meats into little packets or piles on a slate, and add mustard, cornichons, nuts, dried fruit, and pepper or fig jam, along with crackers and bread or crostini. Mostly, though, I find people just grab a piece with their fingers! Cheese and the above accompaniments go quick, but this is always the first gone.

  19. Jules says...

    Classic French apéro! Never gets old.

  20. Madeline says...

    Yum! I’m 33 weeks pregnant right now and those are all of the things I want and can’t have haha

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh no!! haha, sorry about that. i remember literally fantasizing about poached eggs when i was pregnant.

    • laetitia says...

      Hum, I don’t see anything here that you couldn’t have! Everything here is cooked through…

    • Lana says...

      At 33 weeks you’ve earned some cured meats. ;)

  21. lynn says...

    Sometimes a board of meats, olives, cheeses, tomatoes = dinner for me!

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      One of my favorite summer suppers are salami, fresh tomatoes and cold butter on French bread. Yum!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so delicious right now!

  22. This is the typical thing for zakouskis to serve with apéro, especially in the south of France. To have something always on hand, buy hard sausages (saucisson) and good pâté in smallish jars or cans. Sausages keep a long time, and you can whip out a new pâté each time. The sliced cold cuts also are good but require advance notice that company is coming. Another favorite: a chunk of cured ham with a really sharp knife for folks to carve their own slices (a little like the ones in Spanish tapas bars, but without the feet). This kind of ham also keeps well a lot longer than sliced cold cuts.

  23. Audra says...

    One of my favorite evening snacks includes olives, whatever cheese I have, crackers, nuts, grapes and always lots of mustard. I’m from a tiny town and didn’t know until a few years ago that this was a “thing”–turns out I’m posh and had no idea!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sounds so good!

  24. This is a staple in our home for dinner and dinner parties. I always include fig, but that is a must for me…my family is from Malta and we add fig to every charcuterie board. It adds some sweet to the salty.

    • Great idea with the figs :) That sounds just about perfect!