How to Build a Beautiful Appetizer Platter
To help you celebrate the holidays in style, I’m sharing how to build a beautiful appetizer platter, filled with fruit, cheese, nuts and chocolates.
A gourmet appetizer platter like this is sure to be a welcome sight at any holiday party!
I know that some of my favorite holiday foods are not always part of the main meal, but part of the marathon of snacking that seems to occur this time of year! =)
Of course there are a million ways to assemble a beautiful appetizer tray, so I’ll just share some of my favorite tips, and I hope you’re inspired to create something beautiful and delicious yourself!
Gather your ingredients…
1. Dried fruit – I chose dried apricots for this platter. I cut the larger pieces in half so it’s nicer as one bite. Other good options would be dried peaches or pears (consider slicing in half or smaller), dried cherries or dried figs.
2. Fresh fruit – I used black grapes and mandarin oranges. Other good options include any grapes (even a couple different varieties on the same platter), strawberries, kiwi, blackberries or large raspberries. Apples or pears are a nice choice if you are able to wait to slice them until just before serving (so they don’t turn brown before being enjoyed).
3. Cheese – I included Gouda, sharp white cheddar and cranberry goat cheese on the platter shown. Choose good quality cheeses that will taste good at room temperature. Lower quality cheeses can sometimes get a little dry and/or greasy when left at room temperature very long. There is a nearly unlimited list of cheeses that would work well on this type of platter. My family likes more mild cheeses, so that’s what I usually do. The goat cheese is mostly for me, because I love it! =) I generally slice the cheeses into little “sticks” so they’re easy to grab, and easy to eat.
4. Chocolate – This is the beautiful little surprise on an otherwise quite healthy tray. On the tray shown I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Toffee and Milk Chocolate with Almonds (sold in large bars in the candy isle at the grocery store) and I also included Chocolate Covered Almonds (with sea salt) from Trader Joes. Again, this is a category with unlimited options. I often like to include chocolate covered fruit, such as chocolate covered cherries. I love the variety of choices at Trader Joes, but most any nice grocery store (or even Target) will have some good choices.
5. Nuts – I added Dry Roasted (reduced salt) Almonds from Trader Joe’s. Any lightly salted nut, or variety of mixed nuts would work perfectly nicely.
6. Garnish – I added sprigs of fresh rosemary, simply because I have it in my yard. This is optional, but I do love the added color and texture on the platter. Another nice option would be grape leaves (preferably leaves you know have not been sprayed with pesticides), or any organic, edible flowers (likely more available in the spring and summer). Also, a pretty garnish option would be to include some candies on the platter that are wrapped in a shiny foil wrapper (such as Hershey’s Kisses, etc). The bright foil would be a pretty element.