How to create a grazing platter featuring fresh produce
December 9, 2021
A grazing platter bursting with colourful ingredients is always a welcome addition at social gatherings.
Whether it be a lazy Sunday brunch, a picnic on the beach or an afternoon of cocktails & entertaining at home, a grazing board is a relaxed and social way to enjoy great food. Grazing boards are visually beautiful especially when they feature seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables. Think refreshing sliced Qukes® cucumbers, a punnet of Mix-a-Mato® tomatoes with their vibrant colours, sweet and juicy Perfection strawberries. They are bound to elicit 'ooh' and 'aahs' when presented in front of guests. Best part is, they can be pre-prepared so the host can relax and enjoy.
Here are our top tips on creating the ultimate grazing boards featuring Australia's best produce:
decide on the theme
Decide on a theme, cuisine or type of meal to serve – choose from a traditional cheese and charcuterie board to a dessert platter served with Perfection berries and juicy Calypso® mango. Or go for something different such as a breakfast pancake board, or an antipasto platter with roasted broccolini. Make a healthy after school nacho snack platter for the kids with sliced Qukes® to encourage them to eat more vegetables.
Tip - make sure to ask guests about dietary requirements - gluten, dairy or nut free, vegan and any other allergies.
Before you start assembling your platter, you need to think about what you are going to assemble the ingredients on. A wooden chopping board is the most popular option. If you don't have one - not to worry. Use a baking sheet, a marble pastry board, or a large serving platter. Along with the serving board, gather small bowls for dips, and other ingredients. Bowls are also useful for storing freshly cut fruits and vegetables.You will also need cutlery and small plates for serving, and cheese knives for cutting and spreading cheese onto crackers and crisps.
Gone are the days when the only options available for a grazing platter were cabanossi, tasty cheese & Jatz on a platter . A modern grazing board should include a mix of colourful quality ingredients that not only taste great but are visually appealing too. For a traditional style, think a mix of cheeses, charcuterie, crackers, dips, nuts, antipasti and of course fruit and vegetables. But don’t stop there! Why not create a breakfast grazing platter with toasted Turkish bread and delicious toppings like smashed Qukes® and smoked salmon, sauteed Mix-a-Mato® tomatoes and Persian feta or roasted Petite™ tomatoes with scrambled eggs or a ‘choose your own adventure’ pav board – with mini pavlova nests, whipped cream, fresh fruit bowls with juicy Perfection berries, fruit compotes and even some melted chocolate for drizzling.
MORE INGREDIENTS - How to introduce fresh produce to your boards
We’re all about fresh and understand not only the health benefits but how delicious it can be, especially when transformed into bite-sized portions of deliciousness, fit to please any foodie.
Think seasonal – we’re lucky in Australia, most of our fresh fruit and vegetables is grown right here - so more often than not, what you see in the supermarket or greengrocer is in season produce.
Fresh transformed – There are different ways to incorporate fresh produce onto your board – We like to add a mix of fresh – like halved Qukes® baby cucumbers, Petite™ snacking tomatoes, Perfection berries & Calypso® mango cheeks. And transformed – think roasted Minicaps® baby capsicums, barbecued Broccolini®, garlic sauteed Mix-a-Mato® tomatoes or halved Qukes® baby cucumbers topped with cream cheese & dukkah – the combinations are endless.
When it comes time to build your masterpiece, start with the largest items first – place any bowls or ramekins in position, fill with dips, antipasti or other ingredients and follow with items like cheeses, breads, charcuterie and larger fruits & veg. Then onto crackers, smaller fruits, veg & nuts. Decorate and add colour with fresh herbs, edible flowers and extra small fruits like berries.
Get ready to bask in the glory of your creation and be present to enjoy it – not slaving away in the kitchen.
Here are some of our favourite recipes to add in a grazing platter.