The saviour of dinner parties.

It’s the weekend and you’re having loved ones over for a bit of a get-together, a dinner party perhaps. You’re racking your brains to serving up something more than a box of Jatz, bags of chips and the same old guacamole dip for pre-meal nibbles. “It’s all too hard!” you think, as you dread having to toil away in the kitchen after having had a long week at work. But before you start gravitating towards the ol’ cracker and dip aisle, we have an alternative that is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Hail the grazing platter; 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. And when they do arrive, all you need to do is to pop the champagne, uncork the wine and enjoy yourself. Goodbye to sweating and stressing in the kitchen whilst missing out on all the fun! There isn’t a better way to get loved ones together and bonding over a platter of amazing food.

And hold up, the best news about grazing platters is that you don’t have to be a food maven or spend a lot to put one together! Read on for my top 5 tips to creating a delightful, and delectable grazing platter.

 

1. Pre-preparation

A little prep goes a long way. Have a think about the size of the board you’re wanting to fill, as this will guide you on the ingredients and produce you’d want to use. We have a collection of gorgeous wooden boards that’ll fit the perfect bill. List all the ingredients so you don’t miss a thing. Fresh produce like veggie sticks are best cut up on the day and kept in containers with a little water to keep them juicy and 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 a wonderful addition to your grazing platter for colour and texture but move away from the usual suspects. Mix up colours and flavours. Don’t be afraid to use something a little different. Beetroot, pumpkin, basil and cashew, or a caramelised onion dip add a plethora of colour and texture. Decant the dips into matching or colourful containers placed throughout the grazing platter for delectable rainbow of deliciousness.

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. Consider seasons and the time of day

Go with more fresh fruit and veggies on a sweltering Summer’s day. Cut back on cheeses and meats that can sweat in heat, and feel heavy. In the cooler seasons, load up on the heartier food groups such as cheeses and meats.

 6. Arrangement

We eat with our eyes, so a gorgeously appetising arrangement works wonders. Start with larger foods such as meats, cheeses and fruits. Let those creative juices flow, 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 sliced at an angle 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!

Ali sign-off

Looking for gorgeous tableware for that next dinner party? Then it’s time to go shopping! We have a delicious collection of lovingly made and luxuriously designed creations that’ll fit the perfect bill.