Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

Celebrating the end of summer with the perfect cheese & charcuterie picnic board with Prosciutto di Parma, full of all the best sweet and savory bites! Four beautiful cheeses, decadent Prosciutto di Parma, roasted tomato crostini, homemade blueberry honey jam, rosemary toasted nuts, seasonal fruit, tangy olives, and some crackers to bring it all together. It’s the BEST thing to put together for an outdoor feast.

This post is sponsored by Prosciutto di Parma.

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

The main inspiration for this board? My very favorite Prosciutto di Parma! It’s delicate and buttery, with such a smooth texture and rich flavor. I love it for all sorts of recipes, but in the summer, I mainly love creating a big spread with lots of tasty ingredients to pair with it. It’s such a fun, effortless way to eat in the summertime…grazing on a big board while you’re outside enjoying the warm sunshine.

Since everyone is soaking up these late August days as much as possible, I wanted to bring you some picnic inspiration for finding your favorite spot and snacking on some sweet and savory summer bites.

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

The best part about a cheese & charcuterie picnic board is that it’s extremely versatile. I’m giving you my favorite selections and a rough guide on what to pick out, but you can personalize this board completely to your liking.

I’ve also included a few recipes to make the board a bit more unique, compared to your everyday cheese board. With many of our usual summer activities put on hold this year, I wanted this picnic board to be something special you could look forward to and make an event out of with your close family or friends.

Below you’ll find all of my guidelines and tips for putting it all together!

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

summer cheese & charcuterie picnic board – a guide

Cheeses: Always go with the cheeses you absolutely love, but try to choose a variety of styles and textures. The cheeses I selected for this board balance each other out really well, with a little something for everyone’s preference…

12-Month Old Manchego – hard sheep’s milk cheese from Spain that’s nutty and buttery
English Aged Cheddar – semi-hard cheese that’s really flavorful and one that most anyone will love
Fromage d’Affinois – soft double-cream cow’s milk cheese, similar to brie or camembert, from France (spreads really well onto crackers)
Gorgonzola Dolce – soft, creamy Italian cheese for all the blue cheese lovers

Prosciutto di Parma: Prosciutto di Parma from Parma, Italy sets the standard for all prosciutto. When you can get your hands on it, it’s such a treat. Ask your butcher if they have it behind the counter and have them slice it almost paper thin for you. Or, look for a package with the Parma Crown label at your store. If you’re choosing one meat for your board, it’s simply the best option. Savory, but not overpowering, it works really well with all the other ingredients.

Seasonal Fruit: Fruit is such a great addition to a cheese & charcuterie board for a little something sweet. Fruit pairs so well with cheeses and prosciutto, so it’s a natural fit. And what better season than summer to eat fruit while it’s at its best. I included sweet cherries and juicy figs, but peaches, apricots, plums, and berries would all be great.

Jam: Jam is an absolute staple if you ask me. There’s nothing better than combining a cracker with cheese, a slice of prosciutto, and a little spoonful of jam for the perfect bite. I made a blueberry honey jam with all the blueberries I had on hand, but your favorite store-bought jam would work just as well.

Nuts: Another essential component, nuts add a crunchy + addictive snack to your spread. Again, pick out your favorites. If you want to make them a little more special, you can roast them with olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until they’re deeply golden and fragrant.

Crostini: It’s always a good idea to have some crostini (toasted bread) on an Italian-inspired cheese board. It’s a little bit more elevated compared to just serving crackers. I always love roasting some cherry tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and oregano until they’re soft and caramelized for the perfect topping to spoon over the bread. And then top each slice with some prosciutto and fresh basil.

Other fixings: Here’s where you can truly customize with what you love. Olives are always a must for me (my favorite being Italian castelvetrano olives). And of course you’ll want some good crackers to go along with the cheeses, too.

Some other fun ideas…
Dark chocolate
Pickles
Hot giardiniera
Marinated peppers or beans
Dried fruits – apricots, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, etc.

I hope this has given you all the inspiration to make an incredible cheese & charcuterie picnic board to soak in the last warm days of summer! Enjoy!!

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Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

a versatile summer cheese & charcuterie picnic board with Prosciutto di Parma, roasted tomato crostini, homemade blueberry honey jam, and rosemary toasted nuts

servings: 4 

Ingredients

Scale

Picnic Board:

  • 4 cheeses, sliced or crumbled
  • ¼ lb thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
  • ½ lb cherries
  • ½ lb figs
  • 1 box crackers
  • 1 small jar pitted castelvetrano olives, drained
  • blueberry honey jam (recipe below)
  • rosemary toasted nuts (recipe below)
  • roasted tomato crostini (recipe below)

Roasted Tomato Crostini:

  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 baguette, halved lengthwise + cut into 34” pieces
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn

Blueberry Honey Jam:

  • 2 pints (1lb, 4oz) blueberries
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp lemon zest

Rosemary Toasted Nuts:

  • ¾ lb mixed nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

Picnic Board:

  1. Arrange the cheeses and Prosciutto di Parma around the board. Fill in the spaces with the cherries, figs, crackers, olives, blueberry honey jam, and rosemary toasted nuts.
  2. Add the roasted tomato crostini to the board and top each piece with a slice of Prosciutto di Parma.

Roasted Tomato Crostini:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, and garlic to a large 12” cast-iron skillet. Cover with the olive oil, and season with the salt & lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
  2. Toss to combine. Roast for 1 hour until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized.
  3. Place the pieces of bread onto a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil to coat and season with a pinch of salt. Toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
  4. Top each piece of toasted bread with a very generous spoonful of roasted tomatoes and the fresh basil.

Blueberry Honey Jam:

  1. Add the blueberries, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat.
  2. Once simmering, lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 more minutes. Finally, lower the heat all the way low and cook for 10 more minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let cool.

Rosemary Toasted Nuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the nuts, olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary, salt, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper to a mixing bowl. Toss well.
  2. Spread the mixture out onto a sheet pan. Toast for about 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
  3. Remove the crispy rosemary leaves off of each sprig and sprinkle over the nuts.

Summer Cheese & Charcuterie Picnic Board

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