This is a vibrant platter with colors and textures that suit the changing of the seasons. Serve a variation of this board outdoors to enjoy October's Indian summer days with a bitter IPA or a glass of rustic red such as a zinfandel that complements the cured meats' smokey flavors. A pinot noir, with its complex flavors that including cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and forest floor, also pairs nicely.

Many charcuterie boards can be meat-heavy. Like most things, balance is the key to success. Meat and cheese just tastes better when they are surrounded by lighter, more acidic vegetables and fruit. In fall, pickled veggies make a visual color mosaic that complements the rather boring colors of the bread and crackers, the mostly pinkish red tints of cured meats, and the solid neutral colors of big hunks of cheese. 


Green Castelvetrano olives from Sicily have just the right fall tone--the color mimics the intense color of leaves just before chlorophyll breaks down and  the green disappears--like the last bit of summer hanging on before autumn's air becomes brisk and we all retreat indoors to the comfort of a fireplace burning.


The sweetness of dried fruit complements the saltiness of the sausages, prosciutto, and salamis. A velvet textured cheese such as robiola di capra incavolata (goat cheese wrapped in cabbage leaves), a Loire Valley Valencay blue- grey ash pyramid (the cheese is dusted in charcoal), or a salt crystal studded pumpkin colored aged gouda provide mouth texture variation: silky, creamy, and crunchy options that enliven the senses.


A surprise element (or two!) is always a welcome board guest: the faintly sweet mushroom undertones and brilliant orange color of smoked mussels are at-home on a fall board or the dense, fleshy, and tender bases of tiny artichokes (they come jarred). This is a "no rules apply" assembly recipe and a guide to an easy way to entertain. Let color, texture, shapes, sizes, and most of all variety guide your choices. A voluptuous charcuterie and cheese board in which every nook and cranny is filled is a make-it-in-advance crowd pleasing way to enjoy a gathering of friends or family indoors or outside. The finished platter should reflect the vibrancy of New England during peak leaf peeping season.

cuisine American
difficulty Easy
season Fall
serves 8


  • 1 round robiola di capra incavolata
  • 1 pyramid Valencay
  • 1 wedge aged gouden kaas
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 8 ounce jar Contadini candini (tiny artichokes packed in olive oil and cider vinegar)
  • 4 ounce tin smoked mussels
  • 1/2 cup pickled cherry peppers
  • 2 ounces line caught tuna
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 3 mini dried chorizo or pepperoni
  • 2 ounces sopressata
  • 2 ounces finocchiona salami
  • 2 ounces genoa salami
  • 4 ounces pickled small peppers, sliced into 1/4
  • 1/2 cup Blenheim apricots
  • 1 cup raisins on the vine (or any other high quality raisin)
  • Selection of crackers or bread, broken or sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup pistachios or hazelnuts (for filling holes on the board)


  1. Choose a serving platter suited to the number of guests (the MATCH Pewter Round Gallery Tray in the photo has a 16" diameter and is perfect for 8 to 12 guests).
  2. Gather all of the ingredients together and put the wet ingredients in glass dishes or bowls (this prevents the liquids from making a soggy mess). Seafood (due to intense flavor profile) and pickled vegtables should be put in contained spaces--we used the MATCH Pewter Scalloped Bottle Coaster for the artichokes. Place these ingredients on the platter or board first and spread them out. The sides of the vessels are perfect places to rest other free standing items.
  3. Stuff each cherry pepper with the tuna and reserve.
  4. Next, choose a place on the platter for the large cheese round.
  5. The charcuterie should be formed into different interesting shapes. Trim the slices of prosciutto into 1/2" wide strips and lower over the platter and let fall into ribbons. Roll the salamis into roses and use the Valencay or another cheese to anchor them into neat rows that look like colorful flowers popping up.
  6. Use the fruit, nuts, and crackers to fill in the spaces all around the board. Make the board (minus the bread and crackers) up to 3 hours in advance. Simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Just before serving, finish the board by tucking in the bread and crackers).
  7. The finished platter should look like fall in New England during peak leaf-peeping season.