Festive grazing platters

A grazing board combines the best of a cheeseboard and charcuterie platter into one indulgent selection of food. There’s no strict recipe for a grazing board – simply gather together all your favourite nibbles, and arrange on a large platter or plate to share. You could do a mixture of meats and cheese, or go entirely vegetarian or vegan. The key things to remember when creating your platter, to make it look (and taste) as impressive as possible, are:

● Make sure you assemble the board just before serving so everything is fresh
● Always include crackers, breadsticks or bread to use as a vessel for cheeses or dips
● Use small bowls or ramekins to hold small items and dips, like olives, nuts and chutneys
● Use a good variety of ingredients. For example, aim for one hard and one soft cheese, two or three different cured meats, and a few varieties of fruits and nuts
● If you use larger fruits, like figs or clementines, chop and tear them into different shapes, so that the fruit is easier to pick up and looks more appealing on the platter
● Swirl any dips into ramekins, and top with olive oil, seeds or chopped herbs
● Fill in any gaps on your platter with bay leaves or rosemary sprigs to decorate
● Bundle any cured meats into nests, or roll or fold to create a variety of textures

INGREDIENT IDEAS

Baked cheese, such as brie or camembert, topped with herbs and olive oil

Figs, grapes, prepared pomegranates or dried fruits

Thinly sliced cured meats, such as sausage or chorizo

Savoury crackers, crusty bread or breadsticks

Nuts and olives

Dips, such as hummus, chutney or taramasalata

Honey or olive oil, for drizzling

A variety of cheeses, such as soft-rind goat’s cheese, a hard cheese (like cheddar, gruyère or manchego) and stilton

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