How To Make A Grazing Board

A grazing board is an edible centrepiece full of seasonal ingredients, artisanal products and decorative accents to stun your guests. Surpassing average finger food, the perfect grazing board should make your guest feel compelled to pull out their camera and capture the board, feeling spoiled for choice as they dive in.

Freedom is key when creating a grazing platter and finding an exact recipe isn’t essential. However, if you’re wondering how to make a grazing board you will need to get creative with a variety of fruit and vegetables, cheese and meat. Follow our steps to create the perfect grazing board - we hereby give you permission to play with your food!

Selecting the ingredients

Start by selecting your heroes of the platter - be it meat, fish or cheese. These will be the main talking points of the platter, so you’ll want food with provenance that comes with a good story to tell your guests like DukesHill’s hand-cured ham.

Arranging the grazing board

Once you’ve selected the food for your grazing board, it’s time to assemble. Begin with the right size serving board or platter for the number of guests you have and space allocated to the crudites.

  1. Place small bowls on the platter for you to fill with pates, spreads, honey or other bowl food.
  2. Arrange produce by alternating colours, shapes and textures. Use a variety of heights and depths to add dimension to the board. Stack cheese slices, fold cured meats and mound fruits to create layers that draw the eye in and invite tastings.
  3. Consider the final garnishes and add fresh micro herbs, edible flowers, citrus zest, seeds, and spices. These accents add pops of colour and soften any edges.

Serving tips

Ensure the cheese and meat are served at room temperature to allow the flavours to open up. Don’t forget to provide napkins and serving utensils - perhaps small plates if necessary - so that your guests are comfortable to dive straight in!

The Meat Platter

One of the main things to consider if you’re not sure how to make a grazing board is that meat is one of the most important elements! Look for a range of options for each type of meat and create an assortment of cured meats with a variety of hams, pastrami, lomo, bresaola and porchetta for a spectrum of flavours and textures.

Presenting the meat

Presenting the meat is the fun part of making a grazing board. You can roll, fold and get creative with displaying the meat slices. To create a charcuterie rose, simply fold each slice of cured meat over the rim of a wine glass, laying down half each side of the rim. Continue working your way around the glass until there’s no hole in the centre of the glass. Then, tip the contents of the glass onto your board. It should resemble a rose. At this point, continue to manipulate the ‘petals’ - fanning them out so they look more realistic.

The Cheese Platter

Cheese is another key part of any good grazing platter! You will likely have lots of cheeses to choose from, but opting for a variety of textures and characters is a guaranteed way to please everyone. A classic choice includes blue cheese, soft cheese such as the glorious Hollis Mead Truffle Brie as an oozy crowd-pleaser, a semi-hard cheese, such as Lord London, a cheddar, a goat’s cheese and perhaps something to dazzle your guests like our Cheesemakers Special Cheese. Serve it in a variety of ways - whole, wedges, cubes and slices - to show the colour and texture difference between the rind and core.

Serving the cheese

It can be a good idea to label your cheeses so guests know what to expect. Add some balancing elements too, like sweetness to complement the savoury flavours. Fresh fruits like grapes, figs and strawberries always go down well alongside damson fruit cheese.

The Fish Platter

You may also wish to add some fish to a grazing board, especially if you’ve got any seafood lovers to cater for. When selecting your fish, look for a variety of smoked fish, such as hot smoked salmon, gravlax, smoked trout, eel and kippers. A couple of pates work well too, in addition to seafood such as cooked prawns, mussels and oysters.

Serving the fish

To accompany the seafood, choose lemon or grapefruit wedges, cream cheese, horseradish sauce, slices of buttered brown bread and crackers. For a beautiful pop of colour, pop some cauliflower florets in a jug and pour over boiling water. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric before stirring it together. Leave for 4 minutes so the cauliflower softens slightly and takes on a vivid hue. 

Your seafood platter will need to be served straight from the fridge, unlike the meat and cheese platters.

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