Do you need some easy, impressive, do-ahead platter inspiration? We’re talking about the sort of food you can shop for days ahead, assemble the morning of and then unveil as your guests arrive. Yes? Great. We can help.
The beauty of a platter is how they bring people together. People naturally flock to them. Just plonk them down and folks can serve themselves while you get down to the important part; catching up with friends and family.
All you need to do is crack the formula, and pick a theme and your platter will come together nicely. We’ve put together some inspiration for a French, a Scandi and an Italian platter below … but the options do not end there. You could go with a Southern, Mexican, Greek or Middle Eastern plate. Or even New South Welsh – showcasing the best local producers.
Ok so let’s get to it …
Formula? What Formula?
Just remember Dairy + Fresh + Preserved + Crackers and you’ll have your bases covered.
Dairy Platters are built for cheese. Choose cheeses that compliment each other and are contrasting in flavour, texture and colour – that way your platter will look more enticing (and everyone will find something they like).
Fresh To make your platters sing you’ll need a good selection of seasonal fruit and veg. Think about including a host of crudites like baby carrots, batons of cucumber and coloured peppers, breakfast radishes or berries, cherries and segments of stone fruits like apricots, plums and peaches for sweetness.
Preserved The final element in the formula is often the one that gets overlooked. Having something preserved on the platter really helps them to pop. It could be pickles for piquancy. It could be olives or cured meat, marinated artichokes or semi-dried tomatoes, or a pot of quince, cabernet or plum paste on the side.
Crackers & Breads All that cheese and dip needs something to sit on, so you’re going to need some crackers, crispbreads or bread. Or all of the above. If you’ve got any coeliac friends coming there are gluten-free options available, and there are also some great paleo cracker options on the shelves these days. Baguette, sourdough, fruit loaf, pita bread that have been brushed with olive oil and toasted under the grill, pumpernickel bread … there are so many options!
With those principles in mind, let your mind roam and take inspiration from around the globe. These worldly platters are your passport to easy good times.
This platter is your personalised invitation to la dolce vita.
Place some grissini crackers in a water glass, some slices of good quality prosciutto and have some baby bocconcini drained and drizzled in good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Place a chunk of parmesan and some provolone dolce at opposite ends so folks can carve off wedges of cheese for themselves. Add heirloom baby tomatoes, fresh basil, curves of rockmelon to pair with the prosciutto and a small bowl of marinated olives.
Be inspired by the simplicity of smorgasbords. (This platter is great for pescatarian crowds).
Choose some pumpernickel bread and some crackers. Add some Danish blue cheese and a pot of crème fraiche that you’ve mixed with some dill and fennel fronds. Place batons of celery, baby cucumbers and some Dutch carrots on the board. Make up a quick rillette by mashing together a smoked trout fillet with half a cup of marscapone and the juice and zest of half a lemon. Pickle some red onion by slicing thinly and letting sit in vinegar mixed with sugar for 15 minutes. Place a bowl of beetroot hummus, then add some slices of smoked salmon.
It’s easy to make things chic when you’ve got great produce at your fingertips.
The first step here is to slice a baguette into thin rounds. Add to this some water crackers and perhaps some thinly sliced fruit bread. Cheese deserves to be the star here. Choose one soft cheese; a camembert or brie is perfect, one hard (Comte or aged cheddar will work well) and one blue. Add some quince paste and ripe figs, plums or red grapes. Add some pate and cornichons and a smattering of sliced carrot, fennel, or celery. Some walnuts will help round out the offering.