Hello Monday Mavens! Can you believe that the first week of December is over?! That’s the festive season for ya. Time flies!
Whether you’re planning to spend the festive season in an intimate setting or are able to and have planned for a bigger party of guests, serving up a platter is a great way to look put together for the event. A platter can accompany drinks or it can precede dinner, your choice! Here’s our version of a very easy to put together platter with tips and tricks on how to make the platter look as professionally done as possible…
1. Say Cheese!
We like to start with the cheese, which happens to be the star of the platter given people can eat it alone or with crackers. If you cut the block of cheese beforehand, e.g. half it or cut a slice out of the block of cheese, it exposes the inside, providing more texture and colour to the platter.
2. Deli Cuts
Choose your deli meats, or don’t! If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you want to replace with something that can give you can put a little more effort in presentation e.g. cut up slices of oranges or score a mango. If using deli meats, ensure you get slices where you can roll up each piece individually or fold in halves and bunch up the slices together to give that wow factor to the platter.
3. Preserved Goodness
Preserved foods are awesome for adding range of flavour and texture to the platter. Because preserved foods like pickles, artichokes, olives or sun-dried tomatoes are usually preserved in a certain liquid, we like to keep them separate from the other foods. To do this, we recommend placing them in separate miniature dishware – usually a small ramekin (as seen in picture) or even a dish originally used for sauces and condiments. The preserved tidbits will add the darker green, earthy colours that help to balance out the colours of the platter.
Crackers… flavoured or plain? Why not both? Nothing like crackers to balance out the strong flavours that you get from the cheese, deli meats and preserved goods! In this photo, we have opted for crackers with a slight tomato flavouring, and breadsticks with rosemary and salt. As to where to place the crackers, usually around the cheese is a good idea as it gives people the indication of what the crackers can be paired with. It also adds a more deconstructed look to the platter. Like, “I didn’t try too hard, but I tried” look.
5. Frutti Tutti
Go with the fruit of the season, wherever you are! For us in Australia, we are so lucky to have an abundance of fruits in the warmer months, especially berries! Berries are our fruit of choice for this platter as they add a really decadent look to the platter with their rich colours and texture. To make the platter more festive, opt for cherries! We always wash fruit and pat down the fruit with paper towels prior to serving them on the platter as nobody likes a water wet fruit that can potentially make everything else on the platter soggy. Another tip is if you choose blueberries, scatter them a little so it blends the ‘lines’ between the fruit and the rest of the board.
6. Mini Magic
Variety is key! There are a bunch of items on the platter already that provide the savoury aspect of the platter, but not enough ‘sweet’ foods. Although you may get the sweet taste from fruit, we find fruit offers more of that tart and fresh tasting notes to the platter. Also, nothing wrong with just a little confectionary aisle type goodness! Sweetened and caramelised popcorn and pretzels, along with almonds and chocolate – delicious! We chose these bits and pieces as they are easy to scatter across the board. Look at that texture!
And there you have it. A perfectly assembled platter serving you great tasting food AND looks! We are pretty sure that as soon as you serve one of these platters, your guests’ phones might make an appearance for photo opportunities… because who wouldn’t? It’s beautiful!
Good luck on becoming the domestic dream you’ve always known you are or can be…
Until next time,
xoxo Miss Monday