Fun and Fresh Party Platters
Pile high! Set out platters of yummy cheeses, fruits and veggies and instantly turn a get-together into a party. Easy to throw together, they’ll feed a hungry crowd in a hurry. All you have to do is set out plates and napkins and restock as needed.
Appetizing options abound, so don’t settle for chop-’em-up, plop-’em-on-a-plate platters. Impress your guests with updated eats and cool, new ways to show them off.
Crudités are a popular pick for platters, but their down-to-earth style means they’re often overlooked at the buffet table. Switch up the way you show them off and they’ll become the center of attention.
Give ’em Sizzle.
Grilling (or roasting) vegetables brings out their complexity and enhances natural sweetness through caramelization. Even the grill marks transform asparagus, portabella mushrooms, bell peppers and others into a feast for the eyes. Use a CHICAGO CUTLERY® CHEF OR SANTOKU KNIFE to cut veggies into bite-size pieces. Soak in cold water for 30 minutes prior to cooking, then brush with olive oil and let sizzle on a hot grill. Use metal or soaked wooden skewers or a grill basket, or grill larger whole veggies (like bell peppers) right on the grate.
Awww, You Shouldn’t Have…
From veggie patch to flower garden, creating a beautiful edible bouquet like this one from Hostess with the Mostess is a cinch. Simply stick cut veggies and olives onto the ends of wooden skewers and arrange in a tall glass cylinder or in a melon bowl as a bouquet. Cultivate even more cuteness by serving dip in small terra-cotta planting pots.
MORE CHEESE, PLEASE!
Cheese platters are crowd-pleasers, but a well-thought-out selection will take yours from good to great. Include a variety of types, textures and tastes—and at least one familiar flavor. Since you want your guests to mingle, not your cheese, serve each cheese atop a CHICAGO CUTLERY CUTTING BOARD, with its own UTILITY OR PARING KNIFE for the perfect cut.
Take the Cake.
Create instant conversation with a multi-tiered “cheese cake.” A fun trend at weddings like those featured at Wedding Ideas and Collections, this party-perfect idea takes minutes to make. Using three to five cheese wheels of varying size, stack the largest on the bottom and work your way up. Garnish with halved fresh figs, sugared grapes, berries and/or edible flowers.
Tour the world with a board featuring cheeses from around the globe, and pair with wines and beers from the same regions. Celebrate Spain with an aged Manchego cheese and a bottle of Tempranillo, fantasize about France with Brie and a glass of Cabernet Franc, and get lucky with Irish Cheddar and a pint of Irish Pale Ale. Create flags that identify each cheese and set out condiments like these from A Beautiful Mess.
Fruit platters are always the divas of the buffet table, so playing with the display is extra appealing. Berries, apples, melon and grapes are kid-friendly faves, but also consider catering to more grown-up tastes with exotic offerings like papaya, lychees and star fruit.
It’s a State Fair fact: If it’s good, it’s even better on a stick, like Fresh Fruit Lollipops from Party Blueprint . Simply skewer cut-up fruit—watermelon, strawberries and grapes work great—onto craft sticks, and show off by anchoring them into half a melon or arranging in a serving bowl.
Create psychedelic swirls, spirals and stripes by slicing fruit thin so it can be fanned out in fanciful shapes. An easy but effective trick (check it out at Divas Can Cook ), this technique works best on firm fruits, such as melon, mango, kiwi, papaya, pineapple and apples.
Fan out your fruit is a tip from Divas Can Cook.
When it’s this easy, you might just find yourself throwing a party more often. Send out that invite, sharpen your knives and platter up!YOUR TURN:
What’s the first platter you’d dig into? Cheese, fruit or veggie?