Grazing Platter 101 | The Good Roots

Created by: The Good Roots 


Whether it’s for a casual get-together, picnic, Saturday braai with the family or a celebration , grazing before the actual meal is an essential part of the whole event. We human beings like to eat while we are being social or like being social while we eat , which ever order, point is that food and company goes together like hummus and crudites on a platter.

However, when so many diverse palates are brought together it can get a little tricky to make everyone happy. Today I want to teach you how to build your own beautiful, drool-worthy grazing platter that won’t take you hours to put together, fit into your budget and have something for everyone to enjoy.

There is a few basics when it comes to building a platter and items that I believe should be on each and every platter you build, but the rest is up to you and what type of crowd you want to make happy.

Fruit and cheese platter



Selecting fruit that are easy to eat, not too juicy, won’t turn brown (apples, pears, bananas) and preferable doesn’t have a pip are ideal for platters.

Fruit like grapes, berries, figs, halved apricots , grapefruit, orange, pitted fresh medjool dates etc.

Chopped with a piece of the skin still attached for easier handling :  mango, pineapple , dragonfruit, kiwi, etc.

Dried fruit like apricots, toasted coconut, figs, mango, pineapple, peaches, dates etc.


Select vegetables that pair nicely with the dip or hummus and can be eaten with one or two bites.

Sugar snap peas, mini pealed carrots, celery sticks, cucumber sticks, slices of bell pepper, cherry tomatoes etc.

Bread and Crackers

Don’t overdo it with the crackers and bread if you still want your guests to have an appetite for the actual meal.

If you are short on time it’s much easier to buy a combination of different crackers or one ciabatta/baguette and slice it up half-way so its easy to tear of a piece.

Variety of fruit and cheese platters

However if you have the little bit of extra time. Making your own seed crackers are very easy but do require a little preparation.

Dip and cheese

Depending on your budget and whether it’s a vegan platter you can make a hummus instead of buying expensive cheeses.

Make it fun with a different colour hummus. ( yellow = turmeric, green = basil pesto, red = beetroot powder/ steamed, or black = activated charcoal)

Guacamole is only a good idea if the platter is served and enjoyed within the hour.

The cherry on the platter

Lastly adding the cherry on the platter when you have the time and budget for it.

Cold cuts like salami, prosciutto , parma ham, biltong and grilled strips of chicken .

Lightly roasted nuts .

Sushi to add an extra element to the platter.

Baked goodies and anything that needs to be made like small brownies, mini pancakes with cheesecake dip , date balls, cookies, gourmet sandwiches , savoury truffles , falafels etc.


Stick to fresh, in-season produce and make the following substitutions and omissions.

Swap out the cheese for hummus and guacamole.

Omit the nuts, meat and expensive dried fruit and rather fill up the platter with fresh produce and crackers.

Before you start transferring the food onto the platter lay out a bed of rocket leaves and then after packing the platters add a few edible flowers. This all will make the platter look fuller.

Adding a few cheaper (but delicious) baked treats like pancakes, cookies or something savory like falafels can keep costs low while adding that certain je ne sais quoi ( indescribable quality).

Vegetable cheese platter with meat and billong


Steps :

Put a sheet of baking or wax paper on your board if you are using a wooden board to prevent stains and for easier cleaning afterwards.

Spread out a few rocket leaves then start spacing out the hummus and/or cheese on the platter.

Then add the larger items like grapes, the crackers and bread.

Add smaller vegetables, fruit and bakes goods.

Lastly add nuts, dried fruit and edible flowers in the gaps in between.

Angelique Booyens
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