A grazing platter is a fabulous way to entertain. It’s a great way to cater to different tastes, it looks inviting, and there’s hardly any cooking required to feed your guests.
Having said that, I’ve seen everything from beautifully curated platters of food art to the toss-everything-on-a-platter-and-hope-for-the-best grazing platter.
Read and follow these tips to help you deliver a breathtaking display for your guests to explore.
- Make a plan and stick to it or your shopping could get out of control. Sometimes it can be hard to know when enough is enough, so always go into the shop with a list.
- Choose the right servingware. Wooden serving boards like the Salisbury & Co shallow round serving board pictured in this post provides the perfect blank canvas.
- Start with three kinds of cheese: a hard, a soft, and a blue or stinky style.
- Offer a pate and two kinds of sliced cured meat.
- Freshen up the offering with seasonal veggies and fruits that pop on the platter.
- Don’t overload your grazing platter. The trend is moving from pile it on to place it thoughtfully. Leave spaces between each item so your guests can appreciate all of them.
- Choose quality over quantity. The old adage of buying the best quality items you can afford applies. Then choose clever cheaper items to fill in the blanks, such as crackers and bread.
- Surprise your guests by choosing a couple of left-of-field items such as gooseberries, raw honeycomb, or walnuts in a shell.
- Choose items with different textures and shapes for visual interest.
- Match your cheeses to complementary appropriate fruits, honey, relishes, and fruit pastes. Also, read our post on how to make winning cheese and wine pairings.
- Remove cheeses from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to allow them to come to temperature, but leave the finishing touches to your grazing platter until just before your guests arrive.
- Place side plates and forks next to the grazing platter so guests can serve themselves.
- Consider finishing your platter with edible or safe plants such as olive branches, rosemary, or globe artichokes.