Only Assembly Required

We had a few out-of-town friends over this past weekend for cocktails and snacks — for no real reason other than I hadn’t seen a bunch of them in a while and because…well, because I felt like it. There were pitchers of pre-made Manhattans (thank you Andy) and a ton of food, but the corner of the spread that I was happiest with was the one you’re looking at above, which the astute observer might realize required not a single second of bonafide cooking. Pray tell, is there anything better than a Strict Assembly Job when entertaining? The key, as always, is to make sure that what you are assembling starts with high-quality ingredients, and since I’m lucky enough to live 20 minutes away from Arthur Avenue (the Little Italy of the Bronx), a quick trip provided me with everything I needed. Judging from what was left over — nothing — I got the feeling I wasn’t the only one who happy with how it turned out.

Here’s what you’re looking at in case you want to make a go of it yourself: A pound and a half of Prosciutto di Parma; two Italian baguettes (sliced); 1 12-inch (or so) sweet Italian salami; 1 12-inch (or so) hot Italian salami; gherkins (from Trader Joe’s, in my opinion the best); whole grain mustard; hot mustard; and pre-assembled prosciutto sandwiches on brioche rolls (inspired by my trip to Miami’s Rosetta Bakery last week).

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I’ve been making pitchers of Manhattans (and Boulevardiers!), too! That spread looks terrific. How many people did you have over and what else was on the menu? I feel like I need to switch up my usual (without sacrificing my beloved deviled eggs).


I love this post and am excited to try a version of this spread for my next gathering! Lately, I’ve been having trouble with some of your links (i.e. the Manhattan recipe). Not sure if it’s an issue on my computer or something on your end, but just wanted to let you know :-). Best wishes!!!


As a lover of mustard and gherkins and this whole vibe, I’m wondering what I’d buy instead of meat to make this a vegetarian-friendly spread (while maintaining “Assembly Only!”). Do mustard and gherkins have meatless friends? Hmm…


For nibbles, I often have a selection of saucisson, chorizo, jamon, pickles, olives, anchovies in vinegar, hummus and a platter of colourful crudites. No bread, though, as don’t want guests to fill up too much before the meal.