Your best friend’s big day is just around the corner and as the maid-of-honour, you’re busy trying to organise a cosy get-together with the bride-to-be’s best girls. You’re after some fancy catering that’s not too time consuming, and would work well to appease everyone’s tastebuds…
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. No more sweating in the kitchen whilst missing out on the fun. A grazing platter can be put together before the guests come a’knocking, so when they do, all you do is to pop the champagne, turn up that party music and get ready to have fun. All it takes is a little planning, and the best part is that you don’t need to be an expert to put one together.
Here are my top five tips for creating a beautifully delectable grazing platter fit for the bride and all of her favourite ladies.
Spending time on planning goes a long way. Have a think about the size of the board that you’re wanting to fill. This will guide you on the types of ingredients and produce to use. Make a shopping list of all the ingredients so you don’t forget a thing. If you’re using fresh produce such as veggies and fruit, cut them up on the day and keep them in containers with icy cold water to keep them fresh and juicy.
2. Use fresh produce
Nothing can be less appealing than a grazing platter with ingredients that are not bursting with colour and freshness. Buy in-season produce, fresh from a farmer’s market or a deli on the day or the morning prior. Avoid pre-packaged meats such as prosciutto or salami. Get them fresh and thinly sliced from the local butcher so they are easier to position on your platter.
Everyone loves a good dip! They are a wonderful addition to your grazing platter for colour and texture. If time is on your side, make your own dips so that you can mix up colours and flavours. Don’t shy away from ingredients like beetroot, pumpkin, basil, cashew and others to add a plethora of colour, flavour and texture. Serve dips in small, colourful bowls and place them throughout the platter for easy access.
4. Cheese and crackers
It’s recommended to take cheeses out at least an hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. Lay a damp tea towel over the cheese for 2-3 hours to minimise drying out. Accompany your cheeses with a variety of crackers, crispbread, or breadsticks.
We eat with our eyes, so a gorgeously appetising arrangement works wonders. Start with larger foods such as meats, cheeses and fruits. Don’t shy away from experimenting 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.
Spread your ingredients on your platter to balance the look of your platter. This helps your guests access the variety of food from where they are. Chopped veggies work well as ‘fillers’, and sprinkle smaller ingredients such as nuts and berries to cover any gaps and spaces.
Once all of that is done, sit back, pop that champagne, raise those glasses and let the celebrations begin!
About the author
Ali Wong is an avid seeker of food experiences, kitchen wizard, interior design geek, tea snob, nature lover and founder of home.cook.love.She’s also a true-to-life mumma of two beautiful little ladies, and wife to her best friend. home.cook.love was born out of her burning desire to make mealtimes at home beautiful and memorable. She was tired of the drab tableware that did no favours to lovingly home cooked meals, and made it her personal mission to jazz things up in our homes.
Pretty Zen Hen may include from time to time a link to an affiliate for a product or service we recommend, in doing this we may earn a commission from sales from this, however we only link to products or services that we would use and love ourselves