When the weather starts to warm up, it can only mean one thing: outdoor entertaining. But there's a certain art to nailing the perfect platter.
Fortunately My Kitchen Rules' Manu Feildel lends us his six best tips to getting it right.
Find your board
"I try not to use platters that are heavy as they can be difficult to move, especially when it's filled," says Manu following the launch of Obela's So, How Do You Hommus? campaign.
"When I’m moving it from my kitchen to my entertaining area, I don’t want to lose any items on the way.
"Once you have decided on your platter, choose from an extensive variety of dips.
"To start, I like to entertain with a smooth, creamy hommus and a variety of condiments on a large wooden chopping board."
Raid the deli
With your preferred dip the centre piece, try and pick the right cold cuts that will pair well with the rest of the platter.
"Think about your preferred additions to your platter," explains Manu.
"Hommus pairs well with a selection of charcuterie. I like to include salami, ham, prosciutto, sopressa or mortadella, just to name a few favourites. Or you can go fora good selection of cooked cold meats such as sliced seared lamb or rare roast beef, roasted chicken or slow cooked pork belly with delicious crackle!"
Can't say no to cheese
"The same goes for a beautiful selection of cheeses; including semi soft, hard or blue to name a few.
"You can’t go wrong with a good selection of biscuits, crackers and breads - be it crusty, soft or flat breads like Mexican tortillas or Indian paratha breads."
Most nutritionists will tell you that the trick to staying healthy is keeping your vegie intake up and to try and fit in all the colours of the rainbow. Your platter is no different: think carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and capsicum.
"Add a flash of colour with an assortment of vegetable crudités cut to the perfect length for dipping," adds Manu.
Make sure the sizes aren't too big
When you're chopping them up, "keep them bite size."
What's your poison?
No feed is complete without the right drink.
"Don’t forget the wine!" laughs Manu.
"And depending on the occasion, perfectly paired cocktails always go down a treat at my gatherings! Can anyone say no to "Margarita’s" with my Mexican themed hommus platter?
"When I’m too lazy to cook, a simple board of charcuterie, cheese, hommus, a bottle of wine and a great movie on the sofa with my wife is sometimes all I need!"
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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