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.)