This is my idea of easy entertaining. Lots of yummy things, laid out in a way that looks appealing, enticing and generous. Open a bottle of wine and sit down with friends and family to enjoy and catch up on conversation without being stuck in the kitchen.
Don’t be a martyr – there is no shame in using store bought things on these boards. I love Stocked in Hawksburn and Malvern for their amazing smoked salmon and marinated veggies. The Royal Nut company has a fabulous selection of nuts and nibbles and Toscanos or Victoria Fruit Palace in Ripponlea are brilliant for fresh produce, artisan crackers and interesting bits and pieces.
This is a savoury board I used as a stand around entree one Shabbat (Friday night) dinner, but I use the concept of Grazing Boards any time I am entertaining and on a smaller scale as an option for family meals where each person can pick and choose what they feel like eating.
Some ideas and options for savoury grazing boards
Crackers (various types)
Nuts (raw and roasted)
Smoked or cured salmon
Avocado with thinly sliced red onion, olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar
Dips (I like hummus topped with dukkah)
Raw vegetable crudites
Pickled and/or marinated vegetables
Get the largest board or tray you have and build up what you want to put on it. Start with your biggest plates, then fill in areas with smaller bowls and finally fill in the blanks with crackers, nuts, or things that don’t need to be contained.
I use this same method for cheese boards, dessert platters, and even ‘picnic plates’ with healthy snacks for my kids to nibble on after school or for breakfast.