Create something magical this Christmas and New Year with a dazzling sharing board. The team at unearthed® specialises in bringing the best world flavours to the table. Here, they offer their top tips for adding some international flair, visually appealing and totally tasty food to festive get-togethers – in the form of beautifully presented sharing boards. A sharing board can act as the centrepiece for any party – and will also add that Instagrammable factor for guests.
Putting on the menu
The beauty of creating sharing platters is being able to provide something for everyone.
A selection of cured meats makes a great focal point, and there is so much to choose from with Britain, France, Italy and Spain all producing excellent quality meats. Choose a mix of ham, salami and smoked meats to cater for all tastes, and mix it up with meats from different countries. unearthed® selection platters are a great place to start, with a choice of two to three meats per pack that represent the very best of each region.
A sharing board isn’t complete without an array of cheeses, and whether you prefer to source locally or from further afield, a selection of hard, soft, mild, mature and blue cheese is always a winning combination.
Olives are a delicious addition to any sharing board as they complement so many foods, and other antipasti such as slow roasted tomatoes, chargrilled artichokes and roasted red peppers add texture and bursts of flavour.
Grapes, apples and pears make the perfect accompaniment to charcuterie and antipasti, balancing savoury treats with a hint of sweetness. For an extra wow factor, serve a mixture of whole fruits alongside some ready sliced pieces – with a few dashes of lemon juice squeezed over to keep them fresh.
Add substance with fresh ciabatta, sourdough or baguettes, and if you really want to impress, give our Piacenza salami with honey and rosemary roasted figs a try. The recipe only takes five minutes to prepare.
Gone are the days when the festive table set would be brought out once a year with pride. Different colours, patterns, materials and textures are de rigour as they add interest and instant appeal.
However, you don’t need to spend a fortune buying new sets – you’ll find a treasure chest of beautiful boards, plates, bowls and trays in most second hand stores so you can be doing your bit for the environment too. Varnish and special cleaners are available in most supermarkets to bring back shine to any tarnished silverware.
Few foods are at their best when they are fridge-cold. We recommend taking out the components of your platter at least 30 minutes before serving to allow them to reach peak flavour by the time your guests are ready to eat.
The past 18 months have made us all a little more hygiene aware, so makes sure that everyone feels comfortable at the table by providing enough serving cutlery and food picks to avoid cross-contamination, while providing plenty of extra cutlery for each person to eat with.
If you’re serving olives or grapes with seeds, you could also provide guests with their own little bowl to discard these.
Consider the environment
Many of us are trying to reduce our impact on the environment, so invest in some washable linen napkins that will also add a touch of luxury to the table.
Make the most of the short daylight hours by creating an ambiance with candles and lamps rather than overhead lighting. If you’re worried about flames being a hazard, LED light kits are a great way to make a feature of the table and highlight your stunning display of food.
The charcuterie sharing platter should take centre stage, so decorations can be kept to a minimum. If you’d like to fill any spaces, look for organic materials that can add a lovely festive touch. Think fir cones, figs, holly, and chestnuts – but remember, less is more.
Relax and enjoy!
Serving up the perfect sharing board means that once everything is on the table it’s time for you to relax – so make sure you’ve delegated the clearing up to someone else before you start the festivities!
We hope that these tips give you plenty of ideas for your gatherings this year and next. For recipes and to find out more about our wide range of superior quality products visit our website: https://www.foodsunearthed.co.uk/recipes/