How to create the perfect grazing platter
If you have been on Instagram at all in the last year, then you would have seen that grazing platters are now THE way to entertain. What an evolution from the traditional ‘cheese platter’ or the ‘chips and dip’ that we were used to serving.
In the new Instagram world we live in it’s no wonder that we’ve needed to level up the way we entertain, because everything now needs to be insta-worthy. But we’re here for it because we absolutely LOVE a good grazing platter. So we thought we would put together a how-to guide on how to create the perfect grazing table that will be sure to impress and be absolutely insta-worthy.
Let’s go shopping!
Before you set up your grazing platter, put together a shopping list of all the staple items:
- Cheese – perhaps the most important item in your grazing platter. We suggest picking three different cheeses; a beautiful soft cheese (you can never go wrong with brie), a hard cheese and a blue cheese. It’s important to give your guests variety as we know not everyone is going to love the blue cheese.
- The Carbs – these are almost as important as the cheese, as it needs to perfectly compliment the flavours of your cheese and dips. We recommend a combination or crackers and bread to suite everyone’s preference, as well as creating some different textures on your grazing board. We love any gourmet crackers with nuts or dried fruit, but if you want something a little more classic, a cracked pepper water cracker will do the trick.
- Fruit Paste – we love adding fruit paste to our grazing boards as they compliment the blue cheese beautifully. You can’t go wrong with traditional quince paste, but there are so many other delicious options such as plum, fig and cranberry.
- Dips - dips are another way to add contrasting colours, flavours and textures to your grazing platter. Think colourful and bright with a beetroot, capsicum, or pumpkin dip, paired with a neutral one like olive, hummus, or tzatziki.
- Cured Meats – your guests will want to enjoy a selection of different cured meats. To really elevate your grazing platter, think about using meats such as prosciutto, capocollo and traditional salami.
- The Pickled Goods – these are such an important part of perfecting your grazing platter, especially if you are going for a vegetarian option. Include staples like sundried tomatoes and olives, as well as other delicious options like picked eggplant and peppers.
- The Fillers – now that you have all your staples, choose some items that you can decorate your board with to ‘fill in the blanks’ as well as add more colour and texture to your grazing platter. Nuts, pretzels, and dark chocolate are great additional for a darker, more neutral colour palette. Fruits such as pomegranate, strawberries, blueberries and grapes are perfect for little pops of colour throughout.
Now that you have all your ingredients let’s put it all together.
Step 1: Start with the Cheese
Grab your three different cheeses and create the anchors in your platter. Get creative with the shapes; we recommend cutting two of your cheeses into a wedge and keeping one as a whole piece. Space them around your board remembering to think about leaving space for your other items.
Step 2: Add Your Carbs
Now arrange your crackers first by swirling them around your cheeses and other spaces around the board. Add your bread to the edges of your platter to leave room for your smaller, ‘harder to grab’, items.
Step 3: Spoon Your Dips
Spoon your dips into small different shaped bowls that you have in your kitchen. If you have different types, that’s not a problem, different heights and colours look great on a grazing platter. You can also use a really small bowl to add some good quality olive oil with balsamic vinegar to dip the bread in. Place all the bowls where you see an gabs between the cheese
Step 4: Place your Paste
Cut your quince, or other fruit, paste in whatever shape you would prefer and add your pieces on your board in close proximity to your cheeses.
Step 5: Decorate with your bigger items
Start by cutting your cold meats and folding them over. Place your meats in opposite areas of your grazing platter so that it’s accessible from all sides of your platter. Get your pickled vegetables and place in between the meats and crackers. Try to have the same vegetable at least twice on your platter and do not mix them together.
Step 6: Fill in the gaps
Now that you’ve placed all your staples, it’s time to fill in the blanks with your nuts, chocolate and fruit. This is what really gives your grazing platter a plentiful, abundant look that really pops!
Step 7: Pour the drinks!
You've got your beautiful grazing platter set up, it's looking amazing. All that's left is pouring your favourite wine, whiskey, champagne or even a cocktail into your personalised glass from Mon Verre!
Don’t forget to snap a photo for Instagram. Tag us, we want to see it!