A Summer Charcuterie Spread

JD and I just helped throw an engagement party for some favorite friends of ours, and one of our hors d'oeuvres was a small charcuterie plate.  Heath and I both LOVE charcuterie plates.  Getting a bottle of wine, a charcuterie plate and dessert is definitely one of my favorite dates!  The warmer weather had me and Heath thinking of a ways to create Summer Charcuterie Plate, something a little lighter than we may traditionally put together.

Heath and I headed to Trader Jos and Dean & Deluca one evening to create our spread.  These two stops should have everything you need, and they help keep the cost in line.  From Trader Joes, get one or two more mild cheese, nuts and a few pieces of fruit.  We picked summer fruits of berries and apricots to lighten things up.  Trader Joes has great prices on cheeses so it's always most cost effective to get the bulk of your cheese plate here.  Try their spiced Marcona Almonds.  They're an additive cocktail snack!

Next, we headed to Dean & Deluca to pick out a few more specialty items.  Surprisingly, if you're smart you can get out of Dean & Deluca without spending a fortune.  A big trick is having the deli counter freshly slice your meat selections.  It may seem less expensive to buy a package of delicious Italian salami, but I'm always shocked how inexpensive it is to pick your favorites from the counter and have them thinly slice a 1/4 lb, 1/3 lb or whatever you need depending on group size.  We ordered 20 very thin slices of a Calabrese Salami, 20 thin slices of a Toscana Salami, and a few large slices of Prosciutto they were only around $3.80 each!  (You don't need huge quantities of these meats for your platter!)  We always pick out one stand out specialty cheese (something better than we'd find at Trader Joes) and good olives.  This evening we went with a Bleu D'Auvergne Cow (a delicious blue to contrast our mild Rosemary Asiago and Double Cream Brie Trader Joe selections) and big bright green "young" olives. 

Add a crisp bottle of white wine plus either crackers or a baguette, and you're set.  Anyone else love Charcuterie spreads as much as us?  Do you add anything fun or switch things up for summer?  Can't go wrong with just the meats, cheeses, a baguette and a bottle of red regardless!

~Mary Keller 

P.S.  Always ask the deli counter to let you try what you're considering.  That's part of the fun at Dean & Deluca is trying things out to decide which two or three you want to select.  Same for picking a specialty cheese.  Ask for a taste, and you can ask them to slice a much thinner wedge to take home than what they traditionally package. 


  1. Dear Southland, can we PLEASE have a charcuterie spread at Litchfield for Labor Day?! MMMMMMM.

  2. This looks so good! Is that honey in the jar? Is that from Dean & Deluca?

    1. Betsey, it is honey. It's not from Dean & Deluca, we actually brought it home from Italy last year on our honeymoon. I'm sure you can get a good honey there though or the farmers market sells local honeys too.
      - Heath

  3. I second what chasing tulips says!! These are making my mouth water! I also love the annie glass displays (or at least I think those are what those are).