Want to transform your Christmas leftovers or continue the celebration by serving up some delicious sharing dishes? Get prepped with these beautifully-presented board – however many guests turn up!
Spending time to eat delicious food with the people you love Is practically law during the Christmas period. But with hectic schedules and last-minute guests, the pressure of cooking and entertaining can be stressful. Luckily, chef and author of Platters and Boards (£18.99, Chronicle Books) Shelly Westerhausen has the solution.
“Platters, boards and spreads are perfect as fancy or casual starters, meals or desserts, for a group of any size,” says Shelly. “You can scale them up or down to accommodate two to twenty hungry people. It’s also a great way to use up whatever vegetables, cheeses, jams or meats you have hanging around in your refrigerator after the holidays!”
“The process of putting a board together is almost as enjoyable as the eating itself. You can build your board around a theme – whether it’s about heroing seasonal produce or celebrating a special occasion such as New Year’s Eve!”
Here, Shelly shares three of her favourite festive platter ideas…
1. Best for last-minute parties: Build-your-own crostini
This hands-on sharing board is a fun way to involve your guests. You can make seasonal adjustments by swapping in blackberries, peaches, and basil in the summer; sliced citrus, figs, and tarragon in the autumn and winter; and strawberries and chives in the spring.
2. Best for using up leftovers: Healthy festive cheese bites
These bite-size appetisers add variety and texture to a big festive platter and allow your guests to try several different flavours. To prep ahead, you could always make the cheese bites the morning of your event (or the night before) and just roll them in their toppings before guests arrive.
3. Best for lazy afternoons: Clean-out-your-food-cupboards spread
Whip up this sharing board with any leftover bits you have in your refrigerator or pantry. Hummus or dips will also make great additions. Then, graze whenever you like!
Need more foodie inspiration? Check out our 2019 healthy food forecast.