In my opinion, there is no better meal than a fantastic sharing board full of cheeses, charcuterie, dips, fruit, crackers/crispbreads, and olives. Guests can pick and choose what they want and perhaps the best thing of all is you are left free to socialise and enjoy, too. It’s no fun for anyone if the host of the party is stressed out trying to cook and get the food on the table. I think an entertaining board is totally beautiful and classy, too- I love the abundance of it! Although, I’d be perfectly happy with a wedge of blue cheese, some walnuts and a sliced pear. Served on a rustic wooden board, and with wine (of course!) something like this can be simple and perfect.
What Foods You Need to Make a Fabulous Sharing Board
- Grissini and Dip: I LOVE grissini. Something about those things- you just can’t stop at one! For my board I’ve decided to wrap some prosciutto around each one and make a dip to go with it. This Sun-dried Tomato and Cashew Dip couldn’t be easier – just simply blend together equal amounts of sun-dried tomatoes with cashews. Add a little oil from the sun dried tomato jar to loosen it. So delish!
- More Charcuterie and Cheeses: I think you want at least 2-3 cheeses. I usually go for a goat’s cheese OR soft cow such as Brie or Camembert, a strong Cheddar and a blue. On my ultimate entertaining board either a spicy salami or truffle salami would be added – something a little bit different. NEVER skimp here- you want a hand made product, not processed gunk. Definitely worth spending a bit of money on the charcuterie, or just leave it out.
- 3. Fruit: Both fresh and dried pair so nicely with cheese and wine. Muscat grapes are a lovely touch, but if you can’t find any of those, try some dried apricots or figs. Another alternative/addition could be a quince jam or chutney. Yum!
- Smoked Salmon Dip: A really nice touch to have something fishy on your entertaining board. I think this smoked salmon dip is such a crowd pleaser and couldn’t be easier to make. Simply mix smoked salmon or trout with cream cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. Experiment with different smoked fish – mackerel is lovely, too.
- Lavosh: With all the dips and cheeses, you need some crackers or crispbreads to munch. Check out Kurrajong Kitchen lavosh, sold in all the major Australian retailers. They are really crunchy and look so pretty on a board like this, too. My favourite is their best seller, Lavosh Bites Original, which is filled with poppy and sesame seeds.
- Nuts and Olives: Perfect for those wanting just a little snack of something. I like smoked almonds for another dimension of flavour and my favourite olives are the big green Queen olives with the stone still in – much better taste. Other options might be roasted seeds, walnuts, macadamia nuts or mixed nuts. Scatter them directly onto the board for a nice rustic touch and that fills in any gaps, too, making it look more abundant.
- Baked Camembert: I’ve added this as an extra luxurious touch for the holidays! Especially if you are serving a sharing board in place of a starter, then this makes it very special. All you need to do is create your board and set aside until 20 minutes before serving. Pop the camembert into a 200C/400F oven for 10-15 minutes. Put it in the oven right in the wooden box it comes in, as it looks so pretty and is even less hassle to make that way. Pop it on the board right before you want to serve. Drizzle with honey and fresh thyme. Insanely good!
- Garnishes: Garnish the board and fill in the spaces. I like fresh strawberries, in season here in Australia during the holidays. Radishes are also beautiful. Add anything else that is needed – caperberries on the fish pate, add some chutney or quince paste for the cheese. A few fresh flowers and greenery take this board from lovely to stunning.
GIVEAWAY TO WIN A KURRAJONG LAVOSH HAMPER:
I’ve teamed up with Kurrajong Kitchen to bring you this post and video. We want to share the lavosh love with you and are giving away a lavosh hamper to 1 lucky reader before the holidays. All you need to do to win a box is to comment on this post below or on my Instagram post with the video. Just make sure to tell us that you live in Australia – unfortunately we can only send the lavosh within the country for this giveaway. I will get in touch privately with winners to get your address. Winner picked on Wednesday 20th Dec.
Since you have read all the way down this post, I thought I’d provide a bonus recipe! You might have noticed within the post that there is a big jar of something on the board. Well, I had made a jar of Orange Pickled Fennel, but it turns out that it was one too many things to fit into the video, which has to be 1 minute in length for Instagram. So, here is my recipe – it’s so easy and really tasty.
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 orange
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- Remove the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler and set aside.
- Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar over heat in a medium saucepan. Cut the orange and add the juice to the pan. Bring to a low boil.
- Finely slice the fennel with a mandolin or sharp knife. Pack into a sterilised jar with the seeds and orange zest. Pour over the hot pickling liquid and make sure the fennel is covered.
- Allow to cool to room temperature then store in the fridge.
Look out for Kurrajong Kitchen in the shops: available in all major Australian supermarkets: Coles, Woolworths and Harris Farm. I personally like the price point, too – under $4!