Grazing tables are all the rage at parties, weddings or even on gameday. There’s little to no cooking involved—just arrange and let your guests graze away. Deck your spread with these tips and easy-to-make, so-good-to-eat recipes.
Where to Start?
A good spread starts with some great spread. We’re talking dips, people! When picking your spreads, consider temperature. Avoid cheesy dips that are best hot and choose dishes that will still be tasty after sitting at room temperature for a period of time. You can’t go wrong with hummus since it can sit out for hours and still be just as delicious as when it was first made. Guacamole works too—just be sure to add lots of lemon juice to avoid browning. Need some dip-spiration? We love roasted red beet hummus because of its color and earthy taste, and this spicy chipotle pumpkin hummus provides a fiery kick.
When you think of the word grazing, the first thing that might come to mind is a cow or a sheep grazing in a large pasture. Now picture that cow with a tiny little appetizer fork. Weird, right? Grazing tables, like grazing cows, are a fork-free affair. Your guests have to be able to enjoy the spread without clumsy utensils. Pick edible tools that pair well with all the dips on your grazing table. Crackers, toast and sturdy vegetables (like carrots, broccoli, celery, etc.) are all great dippers. With all your starches and heavy-lifters in place, this is a great time to add cheese to the mix—crackers love a good cheese.
Variety and Harmony
A grazing table is a mix-and-match affair. Just because you put the water crackers right next to the strawberry hummus, that doesn’t mean your guests won’t use those crackers for guacamole instead. Everything on the table needs to taste good together, or at least complement each other. Throw in some neutral finger foods like mixed nuts or traditional Chex Mix™. If you are going to add bold flavors to your table that might not harmonize with others, make sure you “label” them as such. For instance, we’ve added a cheesy but spicy jalapeño-popper bread to our spread. The sliced jalapeños on top of this bread say, “I’m spicy!” so guests who prefer to avoid heat know to skip it.
No matter if you’re arranging a grazing table or making a salad, everything looks and tastes better when its fresh. Pile on the finger fruits like grapes, strawberries and blueberries. Add flavorsome olives or pickled veggies for tanginess. And if you could find it on a grocery-store party platter, it belongs on your grazing table. Fill in any blank spaces on your grazing table with fresh fruit and vegetables—herbs are encouraged, too!
Looking for more recipe inspiration for your party table? We have plenty of apps and snacks that taste great, even at room temperature.