Take entertaining to the next level with a spectacular grazing board
How to create a magnificent holiday grazing platter in 6 easy steps
Rather than just putting party food on plates for your next gathering, bring an artistic touch to the spread by arranging delicious snacks and appetizers creatively on a grazing board. A well put-together grazing board looks simply amazing, and by offering such a wide range of great-tasting snacks, you’ll please a variety of palates and impress the whole room, whether it’s a large crowd or just a handful of friends.
Most importantly, your grazing platter will serve as the perfect stage to let your guests slow down, mingle and enjoy relaxed conversation around a spectacular array of exquisite food.
START BY GETTING ON BOARD
When it comes to grazing boards, you can use almost any food-friendly surface in any shape or size. Go with a large chopping board in wood or marble, a long serving tray or even a baking sheet (if one isn’t big enough, put two side by side). You can even stack two different shaped boards or use a smaller platter in the center of a larger one to create some height and visual appeal. Once it’s covered in delicious bite-sized food, the effect will look stunning.
MAKE IT ARTISTIC…AND DELICIOUS
Once you choose your surface, make a list of the items you want to include. Cheeses are a great idea to start with, and of course, your favorite Cuisine Adventures appetizers! Combine these with delightful dips, sauces and additions like olives, nuts, cut-up vegetables, fruit slices and a selection of breads and crackers. The idea is to lay everything out artistically so it’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. Start with some small sauce containers—ramekins, small bowls, even shot-glasses or fancy tea cups. Make it fun and creative by coordinating colors and themes.
Then add a little height to the landscape by arranging some breadsticks in a Mason jar or using small bowls with stems. Add artistic flair to the presentation and serve food in clear glass bowls or colorful ceramic containers. Why not use toothpicks or cocktail forks for the smaller appetizers? And don’t forget the napkins. Lots of napkins.
BUILD AN AWESOME GRAZING PLATTER IN 6 EASY STEPS
Once you’ve collected each component of your artistic creation, it’s time to start building. Use plates as place holders on the board for items that will be served warm because you’ll be adding these foods at the last minute.
STEP 1: Start by embellishing the platter with elements of décor that fit with your theme. Now set out the smaller bowls for dips, sauces and smaller items. If you’re using a larger board, position two bowls containing the same item at opposite ends to make it easier to reach. Choose at least four or five items that fit into the smaller bowls to balance out the other items on the board and add a variety of texture, shape and color.
STEP 2: Place the largest items, your cheeses, on your platter. Serve three or four varieties including a hard cheese like an old Cheddar, a soft cheese like a Brie and a spreadable cheese or any combination you prefer.
STEP 3: Now for the stars of the show! Mouth-watering Cuisine Adventures appetizers are the perfect choice for a grazing board. Include mini quiches, spanakopita, franks in a blanket, firecrackers, spinach artichoke parmesan bites, and whatever else you like. The idea is to pick and choose a wide choice of shapes and sizes. The more variety, the greater the appetite appeal for the eyes.
STEP 4: Add veggies, grapes or other fresh fruits for splashes of color. If you’re including grapes or cherry tomatoes, keeping them on the vine creates a spectacular visual presentation. Avoid using apple slices that will turn brown and look unappealing.
STEP 5: If your platter is large enough, add bread, biscuits and crackers. It’s ideal to choose a sturdier cracker for a thicker dip, and if you have a spreadable cheese, serve a bread robust enough not to tear. Not enough room? You can serve these on a separate platter or basket next to your grazing board.
STEP 6: Add some small ideas to fill any gaps in your arrangement. Choose small treats like nuts, herbs and pretzels. If you have a sweet tooth, add raisins, dried cranberries or apricots. Mixing sweet and savory flavors on the same board creates delicious flavor combinations like contrasting colors in a picture.
Your grazing board is complete and it looks spectacular! Don’t stop there. Set the table as you normally would for a big holiday affair. Add some festive napkins and a decorative tablecloth.
Whether you’re hosting an elegant get-together or something more fun and casual like a big game or movie night, elevate your party with a spread that’s as artistic and creative as it is delicious.