I love throwing a grazing platter together, full of ‘picky bits’ (a professional term that I coined myself, thank you very much!) for a quick meal or simply as an easy way of impressing guests!
I’m sure you’ve seen all kinds of beautiful platters that are dressed to impressed with colourful fruit, veg, cheese, crackers and sprigs of foliage on Instagram.
I love getting creative with any ingredients I find in my fridge or cupboards – especially in current times – and throw something simple, yet beautiful together.
Whether it’s for a snack at home, something fancy to have alongside cocktails or for a party.. I’ve never made two platters that look the same.
Professional platters can be pretty expensive, so if you have the time to make your own, you absolutely should!
My top tips on how to make a beautiful grazing board, on a budget:
- Look through your fridge and cupboards to see what you already have. You might be surprised at how many packets of crackers, popcorn or pretzels you have stashed away.
- Wash all of your fresh fruit and vegetables in advance and leave them to dry. You don’t want to place a wet strawberry on top of a pile of crackers as this will just make them soggy and inedible.
- Leave some fruit whole; such as strawberries with their crown on for the aesthetic. However, you can get creative with fruit and veg carving for other things. I get inspiration for this from watching youtube videos.
- We tend to ‘eat with our eyes’ so use as many different colours of fresh produce as possible. Reds and pinks; raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, red pepper, radish etc are easy. Blueberries and olives are perfect for something blue or black.
- Pickles, popcorn, crisps, crackers, bread sticks or even sprigs of foliage are a really inexpensive and easy way to fill out a grazing platter.
- You can absolutely buy shop bought hummus to make your life easier. I start with this in the centre of my platter, but like to pimp it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some smoked paprika/cayenne pepper to make it look fancy. More importantly, it just elevates the taste and you’ll never look at shop bought hummus in the same way again!
- Break up large blocks of colours on your platter with other colours – for example, break up large bunches of grapes into smaller ones. You can also sprinkle some nuts or seeds onto the smaller bunches. Don’t place strips of cucumber next to green olives; have them at opposite ends of the board with other colours in between.
- Stack things on top of one another as different levels are important for creating visual impact for that ‘instagrammable’ element.
- Reglardless of the size of your board, for a professional touch, fill every centimetre of it with something! Leave no gaps and if it’s a smaller gathering, simply use a smaller board. I build up foliage, berries, crackers or pretzels around the edges – anything that’s a good space filler.
- If you’re creating a large grazing table for a party, put the table in the middle of the room, instead of against a wall, so people can help themselves from all sides.
Watch my video below to see how I threw this huge platter together!