Grazing platters are the easiest way to entertain and with a few tips you can make it look like a work of art. The thing I love most about this style of entertaining is all the work can be done well in advance and you get to enjoy and fuss over your guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen!
Here are my six tips to help you on the way to stress free entertaining so you can stop and enjoy life with family and friends on any occasion.
This sounds simple enough, but it’s your foundation and your easel. How you plan to serve your platter determines what you will use. A current trend is to lay down grease proof paper as a table runner and set up your grazing platter for all to enjoy throughout the party. Other styles include large round wooden boards, white ceramic plates or glass platters. There is no right or wrong just whether it is big enough to hold all your tasty treats!
There are so many different styles of grazing platters. Decide what time you are going to serve your platter and consider your guests dietary requirements. Ideas include; cheese, cured meats, vegetarian, vegan and dessert! There can be a platter for any occasion made in advance, that’s why this style of entertaining meets the needs of those who just want to enjoy the company and not worry about the rest!
The key to any amazing grazing platter is to ensure each item is bite size! Tiny muffins, squared quiche, bliss balls, nuts, dried fruit, dips, biscuits, cheese and fruit. Whatever the item, ensure it can be picked and eaten in one bite and you can’t go wrong. This also helps with the styling of the plate as items can be grouped and stacked for the picking.
If you are doing a cheese platter, have three cheeses placed on your platter. Work out from these three cheeses with biscuits, fruits and other items as you build out the platter. Similarly, a meat platter would have three key feature meats and working out from this would be pickles, breads, dips and olives, as you work all the complimentary tastes together.
Variations in height on your platter provides an aesthetic appeal that entices people to look closer. Depending on the size of your grazing platter or table, you may want to consider bowls, mini raised cake plates or boards to vary the heights and differentiate your groups of foods. There are so many beautiful homewares that allow you to incorporate the theme of your party into your design!
This is a key factor in developing any great platter. If a kids’ fruit platter was the purpose, work with what is in season as this will give you the freshest, most delicious ingredients to work with. There is always an opportunity to tie in your colour theme with a statement fruit or homewares to bring it all together.
Next time you are hosting a party, consider using a grazing platter or two to cut down your work and mingle more with your guests. Celebrations brings us together, but family and friends create the celebration!
CREDITS Main image left, middle, right@sliceofheaven