Keep It Simple for a Great Meal That Beats the Heat

It’s summertime hot and who wants to stand over a hot stove on a day like this, right?

Even outside, a good charcoal grill would be challenging, so what’s a good cook supposed to do? You might be surprised at the answer, but a trip to the deli just might do the trick. Good crusty bread and cheese is a staple in many countries, and Rouses has a pretty good selection of cheese to choose from. Just an assortment of cheese and a few slices of charcuterie can be a feast.

Here is a tip for pairing cheese and cured meats: stay with one country. If you want to go Italian, a few thin, thin, thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma would be lovely with curls of Parmigiano Reggiano, a few dribbles of sharp olive oil and crusty bread. A classic pairing is Prosciutto di Parma and melon (see below) and you just might be surprised at how delicious it is. A good French goat cheese, a Boucheron or a Crottin would do nicely, but are pretty hard to find. Adding a crusty baguette, good olive oil and a little herbes de Provence (you do have some in your spice cabinet, right?) is simply magical if you run it under the broiler quickly (see below).

So, there are a few options for staying (mostly) out of the kitchen this summer. Explore the deli and bakery at Rouses. I think you are going to like what you find!

Tartnes au Chèvre Chaud on Greens

French bread and cheese

  • 1 crusty French baguette
  • 1 goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut thin to medium slices of the French baguette (3 slices per person). Spread goat cheese on each slice. Sprinkle some Herbes de Provence on the cheese. Pour a little (or a lot!) of olive oil on the top of each slice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the slices on a baking sheet or baking pan. Place the sheet or pan in the oven for five minutes. Put the oven on broil for one minute. Serve as is or place on top of a plate of mixed greens salad.

Prosciutto di Parma and melon

This summertime idea is about as simple as it gets, just make sure to use the best quality ingredients. Buy thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma at the deli. Do not get pre-sliced, as it will have dried out, and buy only imported Prosciutto di Parma. The Canadian and domestic stuff is not near as good as the Italian. Buy a ripe melon. Cantaloupe is the best in my opinion. The end of the melon, opposite the stem, should smell sweet. As is always the case, a certified farmers market is the best place to buy all produce, as what you buy there was picked the night before or even that morning. Grocery story produced is picked still a bit green, to increase shelf life. Simply combine the two in an attractive way. Serve with a good Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio or a craft beer that has just a touch of sweetness.


Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."


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