Grazing boards have become so trendy, and they truly have levelled up picky meals and nibbles forever. Those lovely arrangements of different foods all intertwined and mingled together, it definitely has wow factor. Bowls of crisps and solitary plates of cured meats are no longer the bench mark for a tasty spread.
This blog post includes paid promotion. As always all my thoughts and words are my own, honest review.
Grazing boards don’t have to be reserved to parties and big numbers, however. You can create delicious boards for just two. Here I’m showing how to make a show-stopping mezze style grazing board that’s perfect for a cosy lunch or light dinner together. Even better it’s all home made, so rather than just assembling a mix of processed goodies bought from the shop, this grazing board is packed with natural goodness, as well as a little extra love and effort.
The Ideal Wooden Board
For an eye catching display you’ve got to start with a solid foundation. That’ll be the board which you serve your food on. It should be large enough that your food sits comfortably without spilling over the sides but not so large that you’ll struggle to fill it with the portions you’ll be serving. The right board will have your food looking effortlessly delicious and abundant.
To quote one of my favourite TV characters, Mark Corrigan of Peep Show: “I find that asymmetry denotes quality”. Mark might have been talking about pizzas but for me the same applies to a wooden board. I adore natural, rustic shapes so anything that’s not perfectly square fits right in with my country style.
This board from Woodsquare is an instant favourite among my collection. It’s the perfect medium-large size for displaying grazing food. I love that it’s a beautiful pale gold which I think makes the colours of the food is serves really pop. Boards with a handle also win my favour; making them that bit more flexible when it comes to cleaning, or even serving as a roaming graze board at a party.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s important to choose a board that is properly sealed. Anything rough or porous won’t last the test of time; succumbing to dirt and food stains. Buy cheap, buy twice. Make sure it’s quality first time around.
Woodsquare are a small business established in 2017, specialising in stylish wooden kitchen accessories and utensils from the Baltics.
My delivery arrived in beautifully branded, sustainable packaging.
Their chopping boards are hand crafted from solid Oak and Ash, and either left natural with beautiful patterns from the grain running through them, or carbonised for a rich brown. They come in all kinds of wonderful designs!
Prices for these quality chopping boards range from £23 to £52.
I’ve been particularly taken by their statement wooden boards, but Woodsquare also sell a wonderful range of novelty chopping boards as well as wooden serving bowls and utensils. All very reasonable prices and built to last. I think these make wonderful additions to any kitchen.
Making a Mezze Board
My mezze style grazing board is fresh and easy to make, despite being all made from scratch.
- 125g plain flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 tbsp warm water
- 0.25tsp salt
Quite simply mix the ingredients in a bowl until you get a dough. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and chill for 20 minutes in cling film in the fridge. Cut into 4 pieces. Roll out on a floured surface until very thin (just a few mm) then fry in a dry frying pan for 60-90 seconds each side. Once cool cut into bite sized triangle pieces.
My take on baba ganoush is quick and works with popular cupboard staples. Your flatbreads dipped into this are going to be insane!
- 1 Aubergine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
Pre-heat your oven to 180c. Cut your aubergine in half and score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Brush with oil and seasoning and roast on a tray for 35 minutes. Scoop the roasted flesh into a food processor and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and cumin plus generous seasoning. Pulse blitz until you have a smooth, thick dip. Add to a bowl.
Smoked Paprika Humous:
A classic crowd pleaser! My easy homemade humous is easier than you might think.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
Quite simply, drain your chickpeas and add all ingredients to a food processor and blitz until a smooth paste has formed. Add to a serving bowl and make a well; drizzle in some olive oil and a sprinkle of smoke paprika.
Bursts of natural sweetness on your grazing board. These are quick, healthy and delicious.
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
Toss the tomatoes (whole) in the oil, garlic and herbs. Season well and add to a frying or griddle pan on medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan regularly to cook the tomatoes evenly. Be sure not to overcook them until they become mushy! Set aside to cool a little.
A little colour and crunch compliments this grazing board perfectly. Finish your board with some rocket tossed in olive oil, pitted olives and a smattering of pomegranate seeds.*
*Pomegranate stains like crazy so it’s important to use a board that is well sanded and sealed. My board here from Woodsquare is decent quality to withstand colourful foods.
How to Assemble a Grazing Board
The fun thing about grazing boards is the creativity involved; it’s up to you which of the endless combinations for displaying your food that you choose! But here’s a few tips on how to assemble a grazing board which I think help to make a grazing board look beautiful:
- Put dips in bowls – piling straight onto your board will only lead to a mess once people dig in.
- Add contrast – different textures and contrasting colours should be side by side. Don’t group similar foods.
- Keep it irregular – nothing should be perfectly even or symmetrical. Pile some things, lay other things neatly, add different directions.
- Add garnishes – finishing touches will make your boards look much more special. scatter chopped herbs, sprinkle seeds over dips, add cracked black pepper to olives. Drizzle cheeses with honey.
- Don’t forget cutlery – little knives and spoons to make grazing easy and mess-free!
- Leave a border – Having food piled right to the edge might look pretty on Instagram but the reality is unpractical and will soon spill.
The personal touch you receive when shopping with small businesses makes the whole experience that bit more special. And it’s important now more than ever to support small, independent businesses. Please do give Woodsquare a follow to keep up to date with their ever changing, beautiful kitchenware designs. Their boards make fantastic treats for yourself or loved ones.