Create a Grazing Board in Ten Easy Steps
Ready to take your holiday gatherings to a whole new level of communal dining? Try creating a grazing board for your next entertaining event! Curated with a little bit of everything, grazing boards are easy to make all-in-one party platters that can be assembled ahead of time, allowing hosts the freedom to come out of the kitchen and enjoy the party.
To create a memorable spread, we asked Liz Sergeant, owner of The Board Grazer, for her expert advice, including where to find specialty and seasonal foods. “Have plenty of everything, and all your guests will find something to eat,” says Sergeant. “Farmers’ markets are great places to find unique local and seasonal ingredients, such as olives, honey, jams and fruit.” She typically uses a round platter but any shape or size will work, depending on the table. “It’s hard to mess up a grazing board.”
1. Compile a list of all the types of food for the board. Include a variety of meats, cheeses, spreads, dips, crackers, breads, fruit (dried and fresh), vegetables, nuts, pickles, olives, chips, sweets, chocolates and edible garnishes (like flowers or herbs).
2. Select a food-safe wooden platter or other surface. Banana leaves make a colorful backdrop for the board. Make sure to wipe down the leaves before placing food items on them.
3. Keep all items on the board bite-sized.
4. Space out small bowls and ramekins for spreads, dips and briny items.
5. Go from large items to small. Place larger items such as Brie or Camembert at the center of the board first.
6. Use a variety of cheeses with different textures, both soft and hard, so there’s a mixture of spreadable and sliced options.
7. Fan crackers and bread around cheeses, dips and spreads.
8. Spread produce and meats around the board in multiple groupings.
9. Add sweet delights such as chocolate-covered chips or pretzels, then fill in the gaps with smaller items such as nuts and berries.
10. Break up colors with garnishes such as fresh herbs and edible flowers.
Remember that people eat with their eyes first. When you think you are finished, step back and take a bird’s eye view to see where there may be gaps in the board or if items need to be adjusted for ease of access.
Special thanks to Liz Sergeant of The Board Grazer for creation of this party platter.