A truly great grazing board is the perfect way to wow guests at a dinner party or at your own Friday night cocktails and canapés extravaganza.
These graze board ideas will help you construct your very epic board.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you're making a grazing board - like balancing the flavor of cheeses, fruit, nuts.
What Makes an excellent grazing board?
I consider 4 things essential when I’m putting together an appetizer plate (in addition to of course how it tastes!):
- Beauty (aesthetic appeal)
- Ease of access
- Variety of textures
- Having something for everyone
Beauty is the easiest - you want to get a mix of colors and seasonal produce happening on the tray. Don’t just set out three hunks of cheese and call it done - go for a little flair and drama!
Get some colorful berries or olives, use several kinds of fruit, or cut things in unexpected shapes. Remember that the eye likes odd numbers. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to screw it up because people, and I can’t stress this enough, love appetizers.
Ease of access means that you’ve got stuff people can easily pick up. Don’t put a massive cluster of grapes on your board because people don’t want to try to figure out how to pull a few off while other people hover behind them trying to get at the cheese.
People are awkward weirdos at the beginning of a party (which is why we serve appetizers) so make it as easy for them as possible. Keep your nibbles small and easy to grab.
A variety of textures is important both visually and flavor-wise. Having a crunchy nut or cracker along with a soft cheese is incredibly pleasing. Think about adding both tender fruit and something with a little bite.
Having something for everyone is inclusive and kind. You might not like almonds or olives or blue cheese, but lots of people do, so think about serving items outside your comfort zone that you know your friends might enjoy.
I’m not saying you need to serve something you are religiously or ethically uncomfortable with, but go a little wild with the appetizers and save the safe stuff for the main meal.
How to Choose the Best Cheese for a Graze Board
A great board has 4 types of cheese: hard, aged, soft, and blue.
For hard cheese, serve a manchego or pecorino. Choose a cheddar or gouda for the aged cheese. For the soft cheese, go with brie or camembert. Finally, for the blue cheese, a great go-to is a Roquefort. If you don’t like blue cheese, please read this article from Bon Appetit and consider one of their options.
More Savory Appetizers
If you're looking to add some accompaniments to your grazing platter, consider some of these delicious appetizers and canapés.
- Watermelon Radish Appetizer Bites - simple but delicious tuna and radish bites.
- Muhammara (Syrian Red Pepper Dip) - a smoky red pepper dip that steals the show!
- Whipped Feta Dip - an easy to make feta and yogurt dip that goes great with crackers and veggies.
- Kimchi Avocado Toast - a delightful small bite with creamy and tangy flavors.
I hope you enjoy putting together your graze board/appetizer tray! Feel free to share the beauty of what you put together with me over on Instagram, you can find me @thishealthytable.
- 4 (4 to 6 ounce) pieces of cheese (soft, aged, hard, and blue)
- 4 to 5 small clusters of grapes
- 1 apple, cored and sliced
- 2 to 3 pieces citrus, peeled and quartered
- 6 ounces olives (I used Castelvetrano olives)
- 6 ounces mixed nuts (I used almonds, pepitas, and pistachios)
- Arrange the cheese on four corners of a large tray. Put the olives in a bowl in the center. Place the fruit around the tray as desired. Finally, spread the nuts in the gaps between the cheese and fruit.
- Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g