The Perfect Platter

Make afternoons in the sun tastier with this crowd-pleasing snack platter.

Colorful produce, bread and pesto make for a crowd-pleasing snack platter

What sets apart a summer platter is the addition of colorful, in-season produce and grilled elements, including vegetables and bread for dipping.

A casual day in the backyard with friends and family is always made better with a snack platter. With a few easy presentation tricks, you can transform a run-of-the-mill veggie plate into an eye-catching, Pinterest-worthy platter brimming with seasonal gems. Create your own with these steps, or replicate ours, a plant-based platter with grilled components for a summery feel. Here’s how to do it: 

1. Place foods that can leak into small bowls or ramekins and place them first on platter. Make your own pesto or use a clean pre-made option.

2. Display cheeses along the perimeter of the platter. Consider both hard and soft cheeses, including a combination of cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses. Slice or cube hard cheeses for easier serving. Other varieties, such as a cheddar block, can be crumbled. If you prefer to keep it dairy-free, select nut-based cheeses.

3. Fan out whole-grain or gluten-free crackers and/or grilled flatbread slices.

4. Add seasonal vegetables. Cut them into a variety of shapes for interest (such as sticks and rounds), and aim for a mix of raw and grilled veggies. 

5. Fill areas with fruit. You can use different colors as well as a combination of fresh and dried fruit. Look for heirloom tomatoes in an array of colors.

6. If using meats, fold salami in half and then in half again to resemble a flower. Other meats can be rolled. For a plant-based crowd, swap meats out for additional vegetables and nut-based cheeses.

7. Use salted nuts to fill any empty spaces on platter.

8. Add basil leaves, greens or even flowers for a pop of color.

Try these homemade pesto recipes: