You’ll have seen graze boards and platters aplenty on social media during the pandemic, with cafes and restaurants offering a delivery service to them your door for weekends spent munching. Want to recreate one at home? Here’s how to do just that…
Choose Sweet or Savoury
We get it…this is a tough decision. But decide what you prefer…mini cakes, doughnuts and chocolate dipping sauces, or cheese, grapes and cold meats. If you have the time and you’re throwing a social distanced get-together or heading for a picnic, why not make your board half sweet and half savoury?
Work out what your guests enjoy and create your board around their likes and dislikes. Remember: you don’t have to make everything from scratch; a selection of tasty shop-bought items (farm shops are great for delicious finger food) make for an equally good graze board.
You could even make a mini ploughman’s lunch to enjoy in the garden on a sunny day. Be quick, though…autumn (and the colder, darker evenings) will soon be here. Time to break out your slow cooker and whip up a seasonal feast?
Plan Your Board
Decided what will make up your board? Plan what you will prepare by hand and what you’ll buy, writing a list for the ingredients. You could opt to buy savoury items like mini pork pies and sausage rolls and make some dips or chutneys yourself. Or you could buy the dips and ‘get your Paul Hollywood on in the kitchen’ and give pie making a go.
If you have the time, experiment with a few recipes. If not, there’s no shame in putting together a shop-bought platter.
Perhaps you’re hosting a Jacob’s Join where everyone brings a dish each? You could even request that some people bring a pack or two of ‘party food’, like breadsticks and dips. Then, you simply need to add cheeses and cold meats to the mix when everyone arrives…et voila!
Guests arriving late in the day? Plan a cooking timeline and work backwards, so you’ll know exactly when to start preparing all the elements of your food board.
Even if you opt to put a platter together from shop bought items, it can take longer than you think to cut everything into slices (cheese, meats etc) and arrange it on your board. Leave yourself plenty of time and think about everything that goes into the perfect board – cheese, grapes, chutneys, meats and plenty of small bites for the veggies and vegans.
Your board doesn’t have to contain all the ‘usual’ stuff like blue cheese and sliced hams, either. Think outside the box and make it your own, adding a side salad, some mini quiches, or those retro favourites: vol au vents. The choice is yours.
Will you be making your own graze board? If not, the supermarket is your friend – and don’t forget to support local businesses during the pandemic, who may be serving up their own takeaway platters for you to enjoy at home.
Until next time…