The last week at our home was a blur. Country Gardens Magazine spent two days in our backyard to photograph it. Since everything looked so beautiful, we decided to throw a Spring Fling. We invited 40 of our family and friends to enjoy warmer weather, walk the gardens, and enjoy great drinks and food. It’s one of my favorite things to do when entertaining, and I envisioned a delicious grazing bar followed by a “build-your-own burger” station. From Food En Bord, Lisa Ende put together a delightful grazing menu. Usually, I would prepare and plan all the food, but I needed more time.
I had a vision of my kitchen island being brimming with delicious finger foods. That’s precisely what came to pass. I was so impressed with the variety and quality of the food. Lisa provided on her grazing table that I wanted to share the details.
Whether planning a casual barbecue or a sophisticated cocktail party, a grazing table is an excellent addition to any menu. Ours was placed on our kitchen’s center island so guests could enjoy it from both sides. A smaller table would also work. To create the perfect grazing tables, stacking wood pieces on each other is a great way to add layers and height. Lisa placed my giant board on the island, then added large wooden discs, cake plates, and boxes for size and depth. After the panels were set up, Lisa began plating the food.
Cheese, crackers, and grapes are classic ingredients to include on a grazing plate. The guests will enjoy a beautiful display of large blocks of cheese sliced or snipped into small pieces. Lisa added lovely additions to the table, with a honeycomb block and crab apples between the crackers and cheese.
Lisa added a rustic cheese board to the wood crate that was upside down. This little cheese board was topped with dried fresh fruit, a gorgeous wheel of brie, and some beautiful brie. She added some grapes and Mediterranean bread and leaned against the crate. This was a great way to fill the space.
A substantial round board with a rainbow-colored array of fresh vegetables was piled on the other side of the central island. Lisa left the cherry tomato containers in place and arranged all the farmer’s markets bounty around. A halved, sliced artichoke was the perfect garnish to this platter of crunchiness.
This grazing plate had something for everyone, from crunchy and fresh to salty and savory. The roasted and marinated vegetables were piled on a wooden cake plate with a base. Caper berries, sweet cherry peppers, and mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and salami accompanied by sweet and salty caper berries. Fresh rosemary brought a freshness to the platter.
The savory side was completed with a board of roasted vegetables at room temperature and hummus cups. The perfect complement to this board is a glass jar of root vegetable chips from the farmer’s market.
The result was a feast of delicious fresh foods designed to be grazed. The empty spaces were filled with grapes, lemon leaves, and fresh herbs. By the end of the evening, the feast was almost gone!
I highly recommend having a grazing station at your party (and Lisa Ende from Food En Bord in Southern California is also recommended). She taught me how to make the perfect grazing plate using simple ingredients. This was a hit at the party; we will repeat it many times in our house!