Graze boards and snack platters are all the rage, whether they’re covered in fresh fruit and pastries or meat and cheese. They’re the perfect choice for any occasion, from lazy days to social gatherings. Not sure how to make one? Express.co.uk chatted to graze board expert India Timmis from StargrazingCo to find out (or you can purchase a pre-made version from their website).
The first step is figuring out your presentation because that’s what platters are all about.
Grazing expert India said: “One of the first things I think about when creating a platter is to not only ensure they look great but to also make them accessible to all recipients.
“Therefore, unless specifically asked, I work to a shape which can be accessed from all directions.”
Deciding on the shape is key because it ensures you know where you’re going and what colours you need.
It also decides how big you need the board to be and how much of each ingredient you need.
India recently made a platter to celebrate the Euros, so it was shaped like a rectangular football pitch and big enough to feed a household.
You can choose whatever shape you like, or just improvise!
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Now it’s time to pick your colours and ingredients.
In India’s case, she needed lots of green foods to represent the immaculately kept grass pitch.
She explained: “Green is a natural colour found in many foods with plenty of options for dietary requirements so substitutes can easily be made.
“Although, be sure to add any whole avocados used as close to the end as possible to retain their beautiful grass pitch green colour and drench your guacamole in lime to keep the colours vibrant.”
She also added Babybel cheeses as the ‘players’, with the flags of the Nations working well to showcase this.
You could use orange (carrots, hummus, apricots, mangos, oranges, sweet potato), red (bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cherries) yellow (bell peppers, bananas, pineapple) or any other colour as your base.
India added: “Once your base layer is down, you can use different ‘pops’ of colours to define your shape – in my case, I had to create the players and the lines with white Babybel Mini Rolls.”
Don’t just think about what looks pretty, you really need to think about which foods work well together on the same plate.
India said: “The food ingredients are as important to me as the look of the board itself.
“I always want to use flavours that go together, so you could adapt and change combinations to create the perfect mouthful every time.
“Using fresh items you’ve made yourself, like pesto and guacamole, add that homemade feel and will wow your guests even further.”
Once you’ve got your idea and ingredients onto the board, it’s time to finesse those finishing touches.
If you like a rustic look, you can leave it looking a little bit messy.
However, if you’re trying to create a specific shape you’ll need to create sharp edges and corners – flat foods like green peppers and cucumbers are great for this.
If you’re using grapes, India advises you to always lift your grapes up by the vine and allow them to drop as if they’re still growing!
She added: “Then place down with the vine underneath so that it’s as hidden as possible.
“Use stray grapes in the bottom of your tray to mark any gaps.
“If you want to bulk out further, serve with your favourite crisps – all the ingredients work perfectly together.”
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