There’s no better way to spend the Christmas holidays than getting family and friends together around a platter of delicious food. It doesn't have to be extravagant to impress, you just need the essentials, good company and Christmas cheer.
Nutritionist Rose Fenasse from Tables Over Platters has put together her top tips for assembling the perfect platter and turning you into the ultimate entertainer this festive season!
Your secret to success is choosing seasonal foods! Seasonal foods are the best for platter making due to availability and freshness - and seasonal usually means cheaper. Most grocers or big shopping chains have an ‘imperfect picks section’ which always brings a rustic quirk to platters instead of perfectionist shape or colour.
ADD COLOUR & TEXTURE
Platters, of course, need to be tasty, but more importantly, they must look the part too. Try for Christmas colours where you can – fruits, vegetables, crackers, bread. Think outside of the box, rather than standard white bread look for darker loaves, seeds, nuts, different shapes, and sizes.
Adding texture is the best part, adding walnuts to cheeses or sesame seeds to the surface of dips. The texture is often a finishing touch which strings a platter together.
KEEP IT BITE SIZED
Where you cannot use a knife to hack away at a piece of cheese, or a cracker to dip into some hummus – think of the small guys! Keep it bite-sized for your guests; cut up veggie sticks and fruit, add little toothpicks with cheese and cherry tomatoes, slice pieces of baguette scattered across the tables. Christmas is all about family and this way guests of all ages can enjoy!
MORE IS ALWAYS BETTER, AND LESS IS LESS.
More is more, and guests always want more! Have a variety of cheeses, a variety of flavours of dips. If you’re going to be the hostess with the mostest then also think about the guest’s dietary requirements, you might need to cater to allergies or sensitivities like gluten-free or dairy-free.
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS OF CHOICE
Find a board, a platter, a plate or table of choice and weigh up the size of your space with the number of guests you are feeding. Use common sense here, if you're feeding 10 people perhaps you’ll need more than a plate-sized platter.
Find some funky cheese knives and spoons for dips and cheeses, these will be visible on your display. There’s plenty of Christmas themed utensils, plates and decorations out there, this is your opportunity to go all out.
Although this isn’t the be-all or end-all of your platter, it helps! Get a pattern established, this will also help you make use of space ensuring there are no eyesore gaps.
Think ahead, will placing one type of food next to another spoil food? Use small bowls or servers to break up elements like antipasto items next to fresh produce like veggies and bread.
THE SHOW STOPPER
Final touches! No matter how big or how small the platter - the art of making a platter look abundant is filling the gaps. If you find there are areas where gaps can be seen or the platter looks lifeless, start filling in the blanks. To add your Christmas flare, this can be done with mistletoe or acorns, nuts, slabs of chocolate, cherries or gingerbread.
SHOP OUR PLATTER ESSENTIALS!
Choosing platter ingredients can be hard. We've put together a list of our favourite platter additions for inspiration. We stock most a variety of platter delights - click the individual ingredient to shop or find recipes!
|FRUIT & NUTS||CONDIMENTS|
|Tamari Roasted Almonds
|Insecticide Free Almonds
||Vegan Cheese Log
||Spicy Roast Pumpkin Dip
||White Bean Dip
|Fresh or Dried Figs||NON-VEGAN ADDITIONS|
|Grapes||Soft & Hard Cheese Varieties|
|DIPPERS||Dark Chocolate Ginger
|Brown Rice Crackers
|Gluten Free Seed Crackers
||Cranberry & Orange Maple Pecan Bark
|Carrot, Cucumber or Celery Sticks|