Grazing platters have evolved from simply throwing together a bag of Jatz, chips and supermarket bought dips. Brimming with fresh quality seasonal produce, delectable shaved meats, opulent fruits, it is the perfect combination of a little bit of everything. It makes it easier for the host too as you can prep everything before everyone arrives. There isn’t a better way to get loved ones together and bonding over an amazing platter of food.
The best thing about grazing platters is that you don’t have to be a food maven or spend a lot to put one together! Here are our top tips for creating an irresistibly tasty and beautiful grazing platter.
Consider the size of the board you want to fill as this will guide you on the ingredients and produce you would want to use. Write down a list of all the ingredients so you don’t miss a thing. Cut up all your vegie sticks on the day and keep them in plastic containers with a little bit of water to keep them fresh.
2. Fresh produce matters
The freshness of the ingredients can make or break a great grazing platter. Buy in-season produce, fresh from a farmer’s market, deli or a fresh fruit and veggies market on the day or morning prior. Avoid pre-packaged meats such as prosciutto or salami. Ask for meats to be sliced as thinly as possible.
3. Good ol’ dips
Dips are easy to DIY and add a colourful dimension to your platter. If time isn’t on your side, or if a food processor isn’t at your disposal, there’s nothing wrong in buying pre-made dips. Beetroot, basil and cashew, roasted carrot and bean, hummus or a caramelised onion dip will add a plethora of colour and texture.
4. Cheese and crackers
We all know how cheeses are fussy with temperature. It’s recommended to take cheeses out at least an hour before serving. This allows it to come to room temperature. Lay a damp tea towel over the cheese for 2-3 hours to minimise drying out. Provide a variety of crackers, crispbread, or breadsticks to accompany your different cheeses.
5. Time and seasonal considerations
The time of day and seasons matter! If it’s a sweltering summer day, go with more fresh fruit and vegies. Cut back on cheeses and meats that can sweat in heat. Load up on cheeses and meats in the cooler seasons.
Start with larger foods such as meats, cheeses and fruits. Let your creativity take charge, and play with the assortment of shapes and sizes. For example, different cheeses can be arranged in a wedge, or in a circular block. Cold cuts can be rolled, fruits cut into different shapes, and veggies angularly sliced to add visual appeal.
Dips can be served in bowls of various sizes, shapes and colours. Balance the look of your platter by spreading ingredients around. This helps your guests access the variety of food from where they are. Don’t leave any gaps by piling your ingredients instead of spacing them out. Use lots of chopped veggies as ‘fillers’, and sprinkle smaller ingredients such as nuts and berries.
Once all of that is done, sit back, pop that champagne or uncork that bottle of wine and let the festivities begin!
For more information, go to Home Cook Love.
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