How to create the perfect grazing board

Entertaining doesn’t need to be complicated – but it does need to be tasty! 

For the perfect combination of simplicity and scrumptiousness, look no further than an amazing grazing board. More casual and fun than trays of canapes, a grazing board looks great and tastes even better. Whatever the upcoming event in your diary, this is sure to tick all the boxes.

So… Wondering how to make a grazing board for your next event? Read on for easy grazing board ideas!

Get your base(s) sorted

The non-edible part of the package might seem a strange place to start, but it’s crucial for reasons of practicality and style. And the best part? The options are limited only by your imagination. A wooden chopping board is a good option – just make sure it’s been properly cleaned so you don’t import the flavours of last night’s cooking.

Of course, your base can be more purpose-specific if you have access to beautiful trays or platters made from bamboo, melamine or porcelain, to name a few. 

Remember that you might need more than one board, depending on how many people you’re feeding. If you have eight or fewer guests, one large platter will probably do the trick. Any more than eight, and you’ll need two platters or more.

What to put on a grazing board 

Here’s where the fun starts! Planning a grazing board is a great exercise in creativity. Think colour, flavour and texture – and aim for balance. 

It’s a great idea to build your platter around one ‘hero’ component. Does your local deli sell melt-in-the-mouth prosciutto? Make that the centrepiece and build in items from Italian cuisine. Add olives for saltiness, cherry tomatoes for sweetness and grissini for palate-cleansing crunch.

Or start with something less traditional: spiced, roasted cauliflower florets; fresh cooked broad beans in olive oil and salt; or crisp eggplant fritters. 

If you can, find out if your guests have any dietary restrictions. The last thing you want is to have one or two guests nibbling on rice crackers while everyone else tucks in. With the boom in vegetarian and vegan eating, it’s a great idea to ensure at least some of the items on your grazing board are vegan.

We eat with our eyes

Choosing complementary flavours and textures is where all the hard work is done. But don’t forget, presentation counts! Take some time to map out (on paper or in your head) where to place each item so that colours pop or contrast. Make sure you keep crisp foods away from anything wet – soggy isn’t a great outcome. 

But don’t worry, and don’t get too fussy. Remember – a grazing board is designed to bring people together, to encourage conversation and fun.

Pair with the right wine

Once you’ve decided exactly what you’re going to adorn your platter with, it’s time to think about how to compliment the flavours with your favourite wines. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference. But in general, we find it’s best to pair strong flavoured nibbles with softer wines (like a smooth chardonnay or a light red), and more subtle flavoured foods with heartier wines that pack a bit more bite.

Now that you know how to do a grazing board, what are you waiting for? Hit the shops and get creative!