Smile Politely

I made this charcuterie board with local finds

I made a build-your-own sandwich board with food from Cheese & Crackers, Central Illinois Bakehouse, and Blue Moon Farm.

On a white veined counter, there is a wooden cutting board with plastic bags of bread, bags of sliced deli meat, a tomato, a dirty onion, and a black square ceramic container. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I picked up cheese and meats from Cheese & Crackers. I ordered a pound of ham, a pound of pastrami, a half pound of salami, cheddar slices, and Gouda slices. Everything was sliced to order. If you prefer turkey or some other cheese, you can get those for sure, but these are my favorites to get from a deli.

On a wooden cutting board, there are square slices of cheddar arranged in a diagonal meeting in the middle with circular slices of gouda cheese. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Charcuterie can be made a lot of different ways, but I always plate the cheese first. The cheddar was nice on sandwiches and as a snack, but the Gouda cheese was so good that I snuck a few extra slices on my plate as a side dish. Do not skip the Gouda.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The ham was smoky, and it was shaved wonderfully thin. The salami was deliciously porky, and I tried out that salami rose trend which I think made the spread look cute. The pastrami was the first thing gone, and for good reason: it was freaking incredible: well seasoned and so flavorful. I sampled a little of everything, and I could taste the high quality.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

You can’t make a sandwich without veggies, so I also picked up a tomato and an onion from Blue Moon Farm’s stand at the Urbana Market in the Square. There isn’t anything better than a summer tomato from a local farmer, and this tomato was juicy and perfect for sandwiches. The onion was lovely sliced, and I love how earthy it looked (before I cut it) with the extra stalk and dirt on it. 

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I added three kinds of bread for the sandwiches: a loaf of country white ($6.95), half loaf of rye ($4.25), and a 12 pack of brioche silders ($5.95) from Central Illinois Bakehouse. All of these were so soft and fresh, but the rye bread was the favorite. Nutty and earthy, this bread was awesome with the pastrami. You can find Central Illinois Bakehouse at both markets: the Tuesday Champaign market and the Saturday Urbana one. To round out the board, I added a homemade aioli, some pickles and pickled onions, and lettuce from my friend’s garden.

This was the easiest summer dinner ever: no pots and pans required. No complaining either because diners can make their sandwich how they prefer. You can also check out my article from last year about how to make a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses from Harvest Market.

Stop by the farmers’ markets. Cheese & Crackers, and other local shops to see what foods might inspire your own sandwich board.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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