By Gloria Rosemarin
What better time than the holiday season to think creatively about food? I was planning my usual appetizers for Thanksgiving when I came across #ainttooproudtomeg on Instagram and was mesmerized by her gorgeous cheese boards. Suddenly I had a new appetizer mission. My board was a huge success and a new tradition was born.
The possibilities for ingredients are endless, but I was guided by what I have served before and what I know my guests like. I included white bean dip and pita bread (thank you Giada DeLaurentiis); veggies and dip; assorted cheeses and charcuterie (a variety of sliced cured meats and pâtés); olives, Peppadew® peppers and cornichons; assorted crackers, grapes and blackberries; dried cranberries and almonds; and sprigs of rosemary for garnish. Everyone loved the variety of items.
Tips for assembly and presentation:
- No need to buy a special platter. I used a large tempered glass cutting board for my inaugural attempt. Not too fancy, but I made sure to cover it completely so the food was the star. I do think a wooden board adds a lot of character and warmth to the presentation and may seek one out for the future.
- Place items that take up the most room first such as pita slices arranged around a ramekin of white bean dip, veggies around a ramekin of dip, or arrangements of cheese. These might also be your main appetizers.
- Then move to accompaniments like crackers and charcuterie. You have more flexibility with these items as they can be arranged in many different ways.
- Finally, fill in with smaller items like olives, cornichons, grapes, nuts, berries and dried fruit.
Have fun creating your own board. I guarantee your guests will love it!
Gloria Rosemarin is an amateur cook and lives in Chicago. Her specialties include desserts and anything Italian. Friends and family always enjoy her experiments from the kitchen.
Photo by Gloria Rosemarin.