We love a grazing board!
We first saw this fantastic way of feeding a party by our friends Debs & Toby who have the brilliant Bumble & Bee Cafe in Exmouth (& Bumble & Sea, Bumble & Tee http://www.bumbleandbee.co.uk/) - they often put these together for parties and private functions.
If you have a number of people coming to your house this is definitely something to try. You can scale up quantities depending on how many people you need to feed. Get the shopping done in advance and then just a little prep and arranging just before your guests arrive and that's all there is to it!
You need a large flat surface, which you prep by laying a sheet of greaseproof paper. On this you then lay out as many different snacks as you can!
We based ours around cheeses and artisan breads, we placed the different cheeses on cake stands to give them a bit of height, alongside some grapes and apricots. We then weaved in:
- Crudites - Cherry tomatoes on the vine, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, sliced peppers, celery
- Crisps - lots of different types including vegetable crisps
- Dips - Salsa, sour cream & chive dip, houmous
- Pork pies and stuffing
- Crackers & breadsticks
- Charcuterie - salami's, parma ham, honey roasted ham
- Other antipasto - goats cheese stuffed peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, artichokes etc
- A block of butter
- Breads- sliced artisan breads including sourdoughs, walnut and raisin bread and fig & hazlenut loaf
- Cheeses - Goats cheese drizzled with honey, baked camembert, wheel of brie, stilton, applewood
We then sprinkled fresh rocket and baby salad leaves around the gaps. This is just what we included but you could adapt if according to your tastes or depending on what season it is.
Your guests can then just help themselves to whatever they fancy and keep coming back for more.
This is a great way to feed a crowd, is nice and informal and easy to clear up as you don't need cutlery or plates. Make sure you have lots of napkins on hand!
If you have vegetarians/vegans or any allergies to think of you can do separate platter plates for them so that their food doesn't get contaminated.
We also did a small dessert grazing board alongside, which as it was Christmas time included:
- Christmas cake
- Fruit & Nuts
- Raspberries & strawberries
- Gingerbread men
- Lemon cakes
- Mince pies
- Quality streets
But if you wanted to just do one board you could just include a cake stand or board with some sweet treats on it in the main display - some good options would be chocolate brownies, berries, pistachios, dark chocolate squares, macaroons, or any small cakes or petit fours.
We are already planning our next one, perhaps an Easter theme!