We spoke to Annabel Langbein to get a few platter tips and we’ve pulled together everything you need to throw the most talked-about dinner party. One of the easiest ways to entertain and at the same time make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable is to serve a big platter of yumminess. It’s so easy to put a platter together, whether you make things from scratch or buy it all in.
- A platter can be as simple as a big wedge of delicious cheese with some fresh and dried fruit, crackers and cheese. Dried figs and dried pears are good with cheese, as are almonds or walnuts and crispy crackers or crostini. In terms of fresh fruit, pears are fabulous with blue cheese, while a crisp apple makes a good partner to tangy cheddar cheeses. If you have a whole round of cheese, cut a wedge out and pop it to the side so people don’t feel intimidated about making the first cut.
- If you want a cheese platter that goes beyond one cheese, a good combo to aim for is a soft cheese like brie or a washed rind; a hard cheese like an aged cheddar, gouda or comte; and either a blue or a goat cheese. Things always look better in odd numbers, so three cheeses is ideal.
- For more of an antipasto platter approach, I like to serve a couple of thinly sliced cured meats, such as very finely sliced prosciutto and a good quality salami; a couple of dips such as hummus or salsa verde; deli treats like preserved artichokes, olives, baby gherkins and some caper berries; and a selection of fresh vegetable bites like cherry tomatoes, blanched beans, asparagus, snow peas or florets of cauliflower. On the side, I’ll put bowls of focaccia or ciabatta for people to dip and spread with.
For more great Annabel Langbein recipes, see her new summer annual Annabel Langbein A Free Range Life: Celebrate Summer.