A Cheese & Salami Plate…and a Giveaway!

“It’s a Lunchables for foodies!”

My husband’s reaction to the cheese and salami plate I painstakingly assembled the other day was spot on. This was definitely my idea of an excellent lunch: a platter full of six types of salami, three amazing cheeses, sweet honeycomb, spicy mustard, marcona almonds (forgot to include in the photos – oops!) and grilled slices of baguette with olive oil. Positively grazeworthy!

Read on for my tips for putting together a fabulous cheese and salami plate, plus a salami GIVEAWAY from Columbus Salame.

Trying out different cheese, salame and condiment combinations
When it came to building this cheese and salami plate, I just let my palate be my guide. To start, I had the six different salami that the folks at Columbus Salame had sent me in a nice wooden tasting box. That was a bonanza! From there, I filled the platter with tastes I liked, with special attention to variety. Our favorite combination: the hot All Natural Pepper salame (rolled in a bazillion freshly cracked peppercorns) with manchego and sweet honeycomb. Unbelievable. We also loved the Toscano salame with soft Taleggio and Dijon mustard.

Here are a few tips for assembling your own cheese and salami plate:

Choose a variety of cheeses. I went with buttery Spanish manchego, because it’s my all-time favorite and it appeared on Columbus’ list of pairing inspirations. Taleggio is soft and robust, so I thought that would offer a nice contrast to the firm aged manchego. The Mahon Reserva, suggested by the girl behind the counter at Venissimo Cheese (definitely seek recommendations from your local cheese shop – even the cheese counter clerk at your regular grocery store has probably tasted a lot of cheeses and can offer some ideas) was bold, smoky and porky.

Select a few different types of salami. Mine happened to all be from the same brand, but you could always mix things up and try a few whose flavors sound interesting to you. Some are spicy, herb crusted, aged – there really is a good variety out there.

Add sweet and spicy condiments. Half of the fun of a plate like this, at least for me, are all the little condiments on the side. I’ve recently fallen in love with honey comb and marcona almonds to accompany cheese and salami. Also hot mustard, olives and roasted red peppers are among my favorites.
And then there’s the bread. Grilled baguette slices with a little olive oil brushed on make fabulous crunchy vessels for all of your little salami- and cheese-topped bites.

Serve at room temperature. According to Columbus, salami should be served at room temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes out of the refrigerator. The same goes for cheese.

* * *

Win a Columbus Salame Tasting Box!

Win a Columbus Salame Tasting Box!The Tasting Box  includes:

  • Herb Salame
  • Toscano Salame
  • Italian Dry Salame
  • All Natural Pepper Salame
  • Tasting & Pairing Guide

Here are four ways to enter, you can do any or all of them (please leave separate comments for each entry): [THE GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED]

  • Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite cheese or salame.
  • “Like” Panini Happy on Facebook
  • Subscribe to free updates from Panini Happy via e-mail or RSS
  • Follow me @paninikathy on Twitter

The giveaway will close on Monday, May 30, 2011 at noon PDT. I will use random.org to select one winner to receive a Columbus Salame Tasting Box and announce the winner in this post. Due to shipping costs, the prize can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

**UPDATE 5/31/11 – Congrats to our winner – #8, Lauren at Keep It Sweet!

Congrats to entry #8 - Lauren!

 

Thanks to Columbus Salame for providing the tasting boxes for this review and giveaway.

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KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
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141 Comments

  1. Kate wrote:

    I love salami, particularly with smoked gouda.

    Posted 5.25.11 Reply
  2. Cheryl W. wrote:

    My favorite Salame is Felino.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter.

    Posted 5.25.11 Reply
  3. Cheryl W. wrote:

    I “Like” Panini Happy on Facebook. (Cheryl HeartnSoulmom)

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  4. Cheryl W. wrote:

    I subscribe to your updates via Google Reader.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  5. Cheryl W. wrote:

    I follow you via Twitter @HeartnSoulmom.

    dizzybloom(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  6. My hubby would love to try this! My favorite cheese? Hmm, hard. I would say cheddar. Boring, I know.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  7. Sirianne wrote:

    I love winter salami. And my favorite cheeses are brie, chevre and stilton. And havarti. And manchego. Manchego with quince cheese.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  8. Love this! My favorite cheese is goat cheese, but I love most cheeses:-)

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  9. I follow you on Twitter.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  10. Oooh! Fun giveaway! I like a lunchable for foodies 🙂

    My favorite cheese is Velveeta. Ok, just kidding. My favorite cheese is gouda made with goat’s milk, dry Jack from Sonoma, or Chevre with huge chunks of black pepper 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  11. My current cheese obsession is the Irish Whiskey Cheddar that KerryGold makes. It’s impossible to find, and SO good.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  12. My favorite cheese is Drunken Goat, which is Spanish. Then again, I don’t think there’s a cheese I dislike!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  13. Subscribe to your RSS

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  14. Liked you on Facebook

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  15. Follow you on Twitter

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  16. I’m with Kate. I love smoked gouda!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  17. Carrie wrote:

    my favorite is the italian dry salami

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  18. Carrie wrote:

    i subscribe vis rss

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  19. Carrie wrote:

    i follow you on twitter @carrieactually

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  20. My favorite cheese is jarlsberg . . . with red wine! Your cheese/salami plate looks incredible!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  21. Samantha from Maine wrote:

    If I had to pick one cheese it would be parmigianno reggiano and for salami, sopressetta…I hope spelling doesn’t count!! 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  22. Mindy wrote:

    I love, love, love havarti with dill! And any salami with pepper is good for me. 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  23. Mindy wrote:

    I like Panini Happy on FB!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  24. Mindy wrote:

    I subscribe to your RSS feed.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  25. Mindy wrote:

    And finally, I follow you on Twitter!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  26. Laura P wrote:

    Ohhh I love love provolone! But I also love all sorts of salami!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  27. Laura P wrote:

    “liked” Panini Happy on FB!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  28. Laura P wrote:

    following on Twitter!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  29. Suzyhomemaker wrote:

    Love both your blog pages…
    bought my youngest daughter a panini press for X-mas ( she’s 10 now)
    love all sorts of salami…don’t have a particular favorite…
    Cheeses…where to start…
    Tomme is a new really like it type cheese…our favorite stand by that we make is chevre…add fruits or herbs…it’s fantastic

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  30. Great post. I’m a sucker for cheese and salami. My favorite cheese is sharp provolone.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  31. I “liked” you on Facebook

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  32. I already get your feeds

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  33. Already following on Twitter. 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  34. Heather wrote:

    Beautiful! I like to see the Italian cheese in the mix (because I usually do salami with an antipasto) and I haven’t tried a taleggio. I’m always a sucker for a smoky chedder – wonder how that would go? I also love a good blue cheese but… not with salami. 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  35. chris wrote:

    smoked gouda

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  36. Felicia B. wrote:

    I love cheese…far too much to name a favorite! lol! I love salami just as much!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  37. Cheryl wrote:

    I love Harvati Cheese

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  38. Felicia B. wrote:

    I a panini happy email subscriber!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  39. Felicia B. wrote:

    I am a panini happy facebook fan.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  40. Cheryl wrote:

    Follow you on twitter

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  41. Sharon wrote:

    Nothing beats a great smoked Provolone. It goes great with all kinds of cured meats

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  42. Mandy wrote:

    I love taleggio and sopressata!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  43. Ericka H. wrote:

    Ohh, what a fantastic giveaway, perfect for picnics! I love a peppered salami with a nice creamy havarti! My mouth is watering!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  44. Ericka H. wrote:

    I’m a Facebook fan too!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  45. Ericka H. wrote:

    I also follow on Twitter!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  46. Sharon wrote:

    I am an email subscriber

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  47. Ericka H. wrote:

    I’m also an email subscriber!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  48. sara wrote:

    This looks fantastic! I would say my favorite cheese is Fromager D’Affinois and my favorite salami is sopressata.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  49. Marion Buraczynski wrote:

    I love havarti, and a nice sharp cheddar. I like most cheeses, secept for brie and stilton

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  50. Leanna Morris wrote:

    I love colby cheese

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  51. Leanna Morris wrote:

    I’m an email subscriber

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  52. Leanna Morris wrote:

    follow you on twitter (lgm52)

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  53. karen wrote:

    I love a good dry salami, especially sliced thin atop an aged chunk of asiago…..mmmm

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  54. karen wrote:

    I follow you on twitter.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  55. karen wrote:

    I like you on FB.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  56. karen wrote:

    I receive your terrific emails….yay Kathy!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  57. REVA NORTHUP wrote:

    Follow on Panni Happy e-mails.
    Italian dry salami -smoked gouda-sharp provoline-oh, any hard salami works for me

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  58. Rebecca wrote:

    I think my current favorite is Gorgonzola… but I’m awfully fond of Cheddar, gouda, edam, goat cheese, beemer with mustard seeds, … Oh heck. I just love cheese.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  59. Shannon wrote:

    I get your emails! 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  60. Shannon wrote:

    I love a sharp cheddar, Gruyere, Brie…actually, most any cheese!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  61. What a beautiful plate of num-nums!
    My favorite of all time cheese is the stinky Epoisse, which my hubby begs me not to buy as it stinks up the whole kitchen.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  62. Twitter follower.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  63. Subscribed via RSS.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  64. Liked on FB.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  65. Carol wrote:

    Your platter looks wonderful. Fontina, fontinella and hard salami’s with a wonderful crusty Italian bread, what’s better than that!
    Great posts, thank you

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  66. Jacqui wrote:

    Sharp cheddar and feta are my favorite cheeses… although I love pretty much any kind of cheese

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  67. Jacqui wrote:

    I already “like” you on Facebook

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  68. Jacqui wrote:

    And I am subscribed to your emails as well!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  69. Stacey wrote:

    My all-time favorite cheese is Sartori Reserve (many different flavors: gold, raspberry, merlot, balsamic, etc.) It’s similar to parmesan, but with a softer texture. It’s a great cheese!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  70. Stacey wrote:

    I am now an email subscriber!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  71. JoeyfromSC wrote:

    I LOVE Salami!! Good genoa hard salami..Love all types of cheeses too, such as brie, fontina, swiss, provolone, havarti & mozarella(fresh is yumo! lol)

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  72. JoeyfromSC wrote:

    current email subscriber

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  73. JoeyfromSC wrote:

    Liked Panini Happy on facebook

    http://www.facebook.com/ajoebloe

    Joey J.

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  74. Stacey wrote:

    I also now follow you on Twitter. 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  75. Stacey wrote:

    Already a Facebook fan. 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  76. Laura wrote:

    Sorry I like things simple – cheddar cheese and genoa salami are good to me!!!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  77. Jessica wrote:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Manchego with the pepper salame…..AMAZING

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  78. JoeyfromSC wrote:

    Following you on twitter @JoeyfromSC

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  79. Jen Bowman wrote:

    I love all kinds of salami so it’s hard to narrow it down. Favorite cheese is brie. Yum!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  80. Jen Bowman wrote:

    I like Panini Happy on FB.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  81. Mary Jane wrote:

    My favorite cheese is Brie. I love it rolled in bread crumbs, saute til browned, then put in the oven to finish melting. Or panini style with smoked turkey and cranbery sauce. YUM!!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  82. Jen Bowman wrote:

    I subscribed to Panini Happy updates via email

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  83. Kim wrote:

    I am an email subscriber

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  84. Kim wrote:

    I love a good white cheddar

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  85. Tracy N. wrote:

    I love the carmelized onion cheddar from Trader Joe’s….sooo good!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  86. kim wrote:

    I Liked you on Facebook a while back…and do like you and your blog very much! Gimme cheese & salame any day of the week and I’ll be happy, OH, and of course panini!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  87. Esi wrote:

    Honestly, it is so hard to pick just one cheese as my favorite, but I love a good truffle cheese.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  88. Amy S wrote:

    I love brie!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  89. Amy S wrote:

    I also subscribe via email!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  90. Amy S wrote:

    I also subscribe via email

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  91. Ali wrote:

    It is so hard to only pick one favorite cheese. :< Extra sharp cheddar / extra sharp white cheddar would probably win out.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  92. It’s hard to choose a favorite cheese. And I’m too much of a salame n00b to tell you which salami is my favorite. I like them all!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  93. I am an RSS Subscriber

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  94. following on twitter!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  95. Awesome giveaway! Loved meeting you this past weekend

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  96. Kristi wrote:

    My fave cheese is probably mozzerella 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  97. Sophia wrote:

    Oh choose me!

    My favorite cheese is…fresh mozzarella, smoked gouda, brie. Never got to try enough salami to have a favorite though!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  98. Kelly G. wrote:

    Oh I love salami and cheese…WITH WINE!!!! I want to try the honeycomb as a condiment. Sounds excellent!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  99. Shannon J. wrote:

    Salami is really tricky for me since I’m gluten free, so any salami that’s gluten free I’ll eat!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  100. Shannon J. wrote:

    I “like” you on Facebook.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  101. Shannon J. wrote:

    I’m an email subscriber

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  102. Duane Middlebrook wrote:

    my favorite cheese is brie

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  103. Catherine K. wrote:

    I just discovered manchego recently, but my favorite cheese has to be Havarti. Especially with really crunchy apples!

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  104. Amanda Thompson wrote:

    My husband absolutely loves salami! I would have to say our favorite type is the peppered variety.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  105. Amanda Thompson wrote:

    I subscribe via email 🙂

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  106. Roxana Payton wrote:

    I love hot sopressata, with asiago. It is really great with red wine. Another cheese favorite is Spanish Manchego with guava slices. We chill the guava (comes in a round tin) and then have slices of manchego and guava. Its very refreshing.

    Posted 5.26.11 Reply
  107. jacky wrote:

    i suscribe via e-mail….
    and I really like haloumi cheese…a frying cheese from Cyprus…i am imagining that it would be good with the herbed salami.

    thank you!!!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  108. VickieB wrote:

    My favorite is a toss up between a good mild cheddar and pepper jack

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  109. VickieB wrote:

    I folllow on Twitter @vlbsweeps

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  110. VickieB wrote:

    email subscriber

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  111. Kate Stewart-Taylor wrote:

    I don’t think I can pick just one cheese. I like different cheeses for different things. Brie, fresh fruit and crackers are top notch for a picnic. Cheddar and apples are fine for tailgating at a horse show in the fall. I love Danish Blue and pears around Thanksgiving. And that just the ones off the top of my head.

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  112. PJ wrote:

    Parmiggiano-Reggiano is one of my top three favorite foods in the world, I bet it would go great with any of those salami!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  113. What a beautiful plate, Kathy! Happy Friday 😀

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks so much, Yuri – Happy Friday to you too!

      Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  114. Lisa wrote:

    Depending what I am in the mood for, I like many different cheeses. Brie, Gouda and bleu cheese are my faves though. The salami looks delicious!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  115. Lisa wrote:

    I am following on Twitter 🙂

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  116. Lisa wrote:

    I “like” Panini Happy on Facebook 🙂

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  117. My favorite cheese is Dubliner and I love all kinds of salame!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  118. I like you on facebook.

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  119. I follow you on twitter.

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  120. Daphne wrote:

    I love a really hot pepper jack!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  121. Daphne wrote:

    I also “like” you on Facebook!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  122. Daphne wrote:

    … and I am an email subscriber! :o)

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  123. Karen Gold wrote:

    I think my new favorite cheese is one called something like Australian Cheddar. We got it at Whole Foods.

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  124. Michelle wrote:

    My favorite cheese jalapeño jack!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  125. Michelle wrote:

    I follow the RSS feed!

    Posted 5.27.11 Reply
  126. Kate wrote:

    I love trying new food

    Posted 5.28.11 Reply
  127. thisoldbroad wrote:

    Wow those look good! Those salami are calling to me.

    Posted 5.28.11 Reply
  128. kellypea wrote:

    Bringing up the rear at commenter number hundred something or other! Haha! Just wanted to say (outside of loving the meticulously arranged salami plate) that I loved spending time with you in Atlanta this past weekend. You’re a riot with an infectious smile! Have a great weekend!

    Posted 5.28.11 Reply
  129. Alexis Wong wrote:

    Manchego cheese with a bit of cantimpalo sausage is the best mix!!!!

    Posted 5.28.11 Reply
  130. susitravl wrote:

    My favorite cheese is fresh mozarella.
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

    Posted 5.28.11 Reply
  131. Now that is one nice looking plate of cheese and salami!

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  132. I love Gouda cheese and beef salami.

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  133. Following on twitter

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  134. Liked on FB

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  135. Subscribed to Panini Happy newsletter

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  136. Sara wrote:

    I have like you on Facebook. I just discovered your blog and bookmarked it!

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  137. Martha wrote:

    Pick a favorite cheese? Impossible! There are just too many that I love!

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  138. Marissa wrote:

    I’m fond of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Kerrygold Blarney Castle

    Posted 5.29.11 Reply
  139. chrystalm wrote:

    I love spicy salami. I like just about all the types of salami that I’ve tried but the spicy salami is my absolute fav. I would love to be the winner of this contest.

    Posted 5.30.11 Reply
  140. Nice tray of meat and cheese. Sometimes I like having a tray like this with some roasted vegetables for a light dinner.

    Posted 5.30.11 Reply