How to Create the Perfect Christmas Grazing Platter
B.LOVED Edit Member, The Curated Kitchen is back to share everything you need to know about creating a scrumptious and stylish grazing platter for Christmas – and all of your parties over the holiday season! We love the relaxed dining trend of grazing platters and they work so well for gatherings with cocktails too, so we know you’ll find these tips super useful! Over to Dani! “As we head into Christmas, there’s one thing on our minds (apart from what to get everyone!): food! The holidays are a time of indulgence, from turkey with lashings of gravy to that extra little Quality Street you can’t resist popping in your mouth. A classic cheeseboard is often synonymous with festive entertaining, but this year, why not take it up a notch with a grazing platter? Whether you’re hosting a small or large gathering on or around the big day, and whether you allow your grazing platter to be a fun extra or the main event, a delectable spread is sure to wow your family and friends.
As an event caterer in Surrey and London specialising in curated grazing tables, I’ve seen first hand the magical power they have to get people mixing and mingling. But grazing platters have other advantages for festive parties too. They can be prepared ahead of time, are easy to set up, and are also a cinch to clear away. Plus they look and taste absolutely amazing! Here are my top tips to help you create the ultimate festive spread this year.
USE QUALITY INGREDIENTS
When it comes to grazing tables and platters, quality is key and more is always better! The idea is to make your guests feel spoiled by a sumptuous selection of nibbles that make them want to keep coming back for more.
- Use fresh, local produce of the season. This should include both fresh and dried fruits, as well as plump, colourful veggies.
- As a general rule, include at minimum a soft cheese, a hard cheese, and a blue to round out the platter.
- Add a selection of artisan crackers and breadsticks in different shapes, colours, textures and flavours.
- Unless you’re doing a vegetarian platter, charcuterie is also always a winner. Go to a good deli or boutique supermarket and pick up some salami and prosciutto, or fresh cold salmon.
- A good way to make your grazing platter really stand out is to add some homemade elements. Homemade dips are super easy! Get creative with ingredients like beetroot, nuts, herbs and spices. If using shop bought, be sure to decant them from their tubs into pretty ramekins.
STYLE IT BEAUTIFULLY
The saying is true – people really do ‘eat with their eyes’, so it’s important to pay attention to the presentation as well as the contents of your platter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes, sizes and positioning, and let your creativity run wild!
- Start with larger items such as cheeses and rows of crackers to create pockets that can then be filled up with yummy morsels.
- Fold, roll, or ruffle your charcuterie and meats.
- Add colour with plenty of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and cut them into different shapes or at an angle to make them even more enticing. Edible flowers or petals are another lovely way to add a splash of colour.
- When positioning items and choosing your dips, relishes, and chutneys, consider which flavours are complementary.
- Use a variety of shapes and sizes of cheeses to help create visual appeal, and place some of them on their side or upright.
- Sprinkle smaller ingredients such as piles of nuts, olives, and berries throughout to fill any gaps. Your board should look abundant!
CREATE A FESTIVE FEEL
Since this is a Christmas grazing platter, you may want to add some extra festive cheer!
- Look out for festive shapes that can be included. For example, Godminster do a beautifully delicious organic cheddar in a star-shaped truckle, which is just perfect for this time of year. You could also arrange your grazing platter in a wreath or Christmas tree shape.
- Add festive flavour by incorporating traditional Christmas treats like winter berries, walnuts and candied orange peel.
- Add touches of edible gold or gold lustre to your food to give it an extra touch of sparkle. For example, on any sweet elements.
- Intersperse your food with Christmassy foliage or florals to add the perfect finishing touch.
Once you’re done, it’s time to pour yourself a glass of bubbly and actually enjoy the party instead of spending the whole time in the kitchen! Happy holidays!”