The following tutorial and photography is courtesy of Lauren Schulte. To see more of her bites and meals, visit her Instagram @TheBiteSizePantry.
It’s impossible to go overboard when creating a grazing board. More is simply more! This Memorial Day-inspired grazing board is “star-ed,” spangled and spectacular. It’s surprisingly easy to create, too. I’ll walk you through it all.
Choosing the Accoutrements
When choosing accoutrements for this grazing board, its important keep things fun and exciting. Opt for items you’ve never tried before and foods with bold flavors, textures and colors.
Think about crackers as an example. Grab crackers of different shapes and lengths. I chose Heinen’s Rosemary and Fig Fruit Crackers (small dark squares), Heinen’s Parmesan Crisps (long and crunchy), whole grain crackers (large squares) and Wheat Thins, which are lighter in color.
The fruit is where you can channel the patriotic red, white and blue colors. For the blue tones, try to choose a mixture of dark fruit like blackberries, figs and blueberries. Since there aren’t many white-colored fruits, opt for creamy white cheeses and crackers. For the red tones, reach for raspberries, strawberries, red grapes or plums.
When choosing cheeses, select a couple of milder options along with a few stronger flavors. I gravitate towards white cheddar, Pecorino Romano and Monterey Jack for the milder flavors. For the bold flavors, try creamy goat cheese, Brie, Boursin, and Sartori merlot cheese.
Building the Grazing Board
When assembling a grazing board, I like to start by randomly placing large chunks of various kinds of cheese on the board. Once those are in place, crumble some of the cheeses and place them around the larger chunks.
Next, add small bites such as candies, chocolates, nuts and olives to small bowls and arrange them in the shape of a triangle. I like to use no more than three bowls on my boards so that I can form a triangle shape, which draws the eye around the rest of the board.
When filling in the board, start from the outside and work your way in. Place the darker fruits and chocolates on the outside edge of one side of the board and gradually add pops of the lighter-colored crackers and cheeses as you make your way to the center. Then add the red-hued foods as you work your way to the opposite edge of your board. Finally, add some herbs and other greenery as well as adorable star-shaped cheeses. I used a cookie cutter to create these, but they can easily be created with a knife.
The Finishing Touches
Finally, set out festive plates and napkins for your guests that complement the colors and shapes on the grazing board. I found adorable flag napkins and blue snack plates at Heinen’s. Make sure to check out your local Heinen’s for all your summer grazing board needs!