When planning a family get-together for the Easter holidays, think about upping your charcuterie board game with a beautiful grazing table. This is a fun and social way to provide dinner or snacks for a larger group. The grazing table can be as expensive OR inexpensive as you want. Learning how to make a grazing table is easy, it just takes time, a solid shopping list, and a little preparation.
Decide the location of your grazing board
A sanitized countertop is a great option for your grazing board. You can choose to lay butcher paper or parchment paper down or put the items directly on the countertop. Using parchment paper does make for easier clean-up. If you don’t have a countertop available to you, consider using a portable card table. Ideally, guests will be able to graze from both sides, but that isn’t always possible.
Shop For Ingredients
Make a list and check it twice! For 40 people, budget for around $200. That makes the cost for feeding folks around $5 per person. You don’t need to splurge on every single ingredient. Buy staples that everyone enjoys, and just a few special high end cheeses or meats to mix throughout your grazing board.
- 2 red Grapefruits / lemon peel / limes for decoration (sliced in half)
- 3 jams: fig, sour cherry, spicy pepper relish
- 1 grainy mustard
- 3 dips: dill, Spinach artichoke dip
- 3 small wheels of bre/ 3 cheese knifes
- 1 wedge blue cheese / 1 knife
- 1 wedge truffle cheese/ 1 knife
- Feta Stuffed peppers
- Sliced: cheddar, marble, gouda, Jarlsberg, borsin x3
- Fruit: Grapes red/ green /Blueberries/ raspberries / small tomatoes
- Veg: celery / carrots / mushrooms / broccoli
- Nuts in bowls: pistachios / roasted almonds / chocolate covered almonds
- Crackers/Bread: 4 different kinds crackers, pretzel sticks, small loafs of bread/buns
- Olives: 3 different kinds
- Meat: 6 kinds – Prosciutto, german salami, spicy capicola, iberico ham, sliced chorizo, truffle
How To Arrange Your Table
Arranging the ingredients on your grazing table is truly more of an art than a science. You can certainly lay out all of the serving platters you have but then that takes away from the concept of a grazing table.
- Keep it simple with one slightly elevated serving platter, and then a rustic basket to layer various bread in. Just enough to add a little dimension. If you have a pedestal server, this is a great time to use it! Place 2-3 small bowls for dips and nuts.
- Place dips and jams in small bowls or in their original containers, with a small spoon.
- Cheese is truly the star of charcuterie tables, although charcuterie technically means meat! Cheese is ALWAYS the first thing to be eaten! Make sure you have a cheese knife placed by uncut cheese, and slice the first slice. People are typically timid about being the first ones to cut into a whole piece of cheese!
- Arrange sliced cheeses in both tall piles and lines for visual interest.
- Add fruit and veggies next because to ensure that there is color interspersed throughout the grazing table. If you hold these items until last, you’ll have to squeeze them into the empty spaces.
- Now, it’s time to add the meat! Try making tall piles of salami circles. You can also lay meat slices next to your lines of cheese slices, or in a circle around a chunk of cheese. Make a few salami roses for visual interest, if you have time!
- Now, add nuts, desserts and crackers. Fill in all of the gaps and any empty serving trays that you have left. If you don’t have space for all of these, no worries! You can replenish them throughout the night.
Tools For Success
Make sure to include these tools to complete your grazing table:
- Toothpicks: Place these close to olives or other small items that can be skewered.
- Serving tongs: Place these around the edges so that your guests can grab their items hands free.
- Small plates: Enough for each of your guests to have two rounds of charcuterie.
- Napkins: Cocktail sized napkins work great!
- Spoons: 1 for each dip, jam or mustard.
- Cheese knives: 1 for each whole block of cheese you plan to serve. I typically leave brie and blue cheese wedges whole.
Finally, remember to give yourself enough time to get the board together! For a 40 person grazing table it will take about 1 hour total to get everything set. Try and set up close to when your guests are arriving, cheese can sit out at room temperature for about 4 hours. So, set the timer and encourage your guests to enjoy the grazing table when they arrive!
A grazing table is a wonderful way of entertaining and socialising this easter in your Stargate West apartment. Stargate West offers a variety of luxury apartments, for summer stays or longer. Contact us today and we would be happy to help make your accommodation dreams come true, including a space for entertaining guests over the Easter holidays!