A colorful platter that gives you that summertime feeling all year long!
Not ready to say goodbye to summer!
If you are like me, then you are probably not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet! With just a few days left, I wanted to hold onto summertime for just a little longer. That's why I have put together my colorful fresh fruit Summertime Platter so you don't have to say goodbye either. Create this platter anytime of the year to get that 'summertime' feeling.
I have outlined a step - by - step instruction when creating my Summertime Platter. I hope it assists you when building your own.
With a variety of fresh fruits, a colorful cheese wheel and a few accessories this platter is really easy to put together. It is sure to add sunshine to your gathering with family and friends.
Summertime Platter Palette
Before I begin a platter, I like to do a bit of planning, especially for the food that I will be serving on my platter. With my background being in design, the first thing I think about is the colors and textures that I want to work with. So I design what I like to call my 'Platter's Palette'. For our Summertime Platter I have selected all the bright, fresh fruits that would be in abundance during the summer months like watermelon, pineapple, kiwifruits and of course we can't forget the berries. For some texture, we will be adding rustic and light multigrain artisan crackers, chocolate crisps and banana chips. Nothing too heavy for this platter as we want to keep it light and refreshing!
Start with a Bamboo Platter
Bamboo is a beautiful, light wood that will create an island or beach feel to your gathering. The bamboo board that I selected is about 22" x 14" and I liked that it has a small riser. When using my bamboo platter, I do line it with food grade paper because bamboo tends to stain easily. Berries, like blackberries and raspberries can easily seep into the wood of your board making it hard to remove the stains. I purchased tan color food grade paper and I make sure when placing it on the board that I leave about a 1" showing of the bamboo to expose the beauty of the wood. You will be placing all your food items on the food grade paper. In addition to the bamboo board, I also decided to add a 8" x 8" Himalayan rock salt block as additional riser and base for my cheese wheel and fruit skewers. It's soft pink color adds a summery feel and the salt will also help boost the sweetness of the fruit. Add small bowls or a fun copper pot to hold small fruits like blueberries, jams or jellies.
Let's Go Shopping
I've put together a list of the food items you will need for this platter, however, you can substitute any fruits or the cheese as you wish. If you find fruits that are only in season for a short period time, add them to your platter. Be creative, there is no right or wrong way of creating this platter. The key to a pretty platter is to just have fun and be creative!
Fruits - Watermelon (pre-cut squares, Pineapple (pre-cut squares), Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Red Grapes, 4 x Kiwifruit, 3 x Nectarines
Cheese - Cranberry Hand-rolled spreadable cheese, 2 x Cranberry Goat Chesse Logs
Crackers - 2 x Artisan Crackers of your choice (select 2 different types)
Bakery - Cranberry Scones (bite size)
Dried Goods & Sweets - Chocolate Crisps or Squares, Dried Banana Chips, Dried Sweetened Hibiscus Flower or Edible Flowers, Strawberry Jam or Jelly
Supplies - Bamboo Party Picks
Visit A Local Farmers Market
'The Original Farmers Market' in L.A.
With your list in hand, its time to go grocery shopping. A visit to your local farmers market is the perfect place to start. Not only will you be able to pick up some wonderful fresh fruits for your platter, but you will also be supporting local farmers.
A farmers market that I have to stop by when I am in the Los Angeles area is the Famous 'Farmers Market'. It has great venues that offers everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses and meats that you won't necessarily find in your local grocery shops. They also have a great bakery that sells lovely fresh breads, and I couldn't leave the candy shop without picking up some sweet treats. I could spend all day exploring the marketplace venues and if you are ever in the L.A. area, it is a 'must' place to check out!
Time to Platter!
Now that you have everything you need, it's time to platter!
Thoroughly wash your fruit before you begin and let them dry. There will be 3 food items you will need to prepare before you get started building your platter.
Select 2 nectarines and cut them into slices
Prepare your pineapple/watermelon squares onto your little bamboo party skewers. Taking one piece of pineapple square and one watermelon square and place on the skewer. The bamboo skewers just keep with the theme of the platter.
Make 4 kiwifruit flowers - check my blog called 'Kiwifruit Flowers' . It's very easy to do!
Once you have completed the following 3 steps, put them off to the side, and now it's time to platter!
Instructions: You can use the image above as your guide!
Let's begin by preparing the platter. Place the food grade paper, the Himalayan rock salt and the 2 bowls that you will be using on the board. (See Summertime Platter 'Layout' photo)
Starting at the back of the board, add 2 bunches of grapes on either side (2L/2R) of the Himalayan rock salt. We will be working our way forward.
Place kiwifruit flowers and strawberries in front of the grapes. (3L/3R)
Next your artisan crackers. Add your 1st selection of artisan cracker (4L) and then your 2nd selection of artisan cracker. (4R)
Fill in any open spaces between the artisan crackers with bite size scones.(5L/5R)
2 kiwifruit flowers
Place your nectarine slices then fill any empty spaces with blackberries and raspberries. You can add additional blackberries/raspberries in among the strawberries, grapes and kiwifruit that you have already placed on your platter.
2 kiwifruit flowers
Dried banana chips. I use dried banana chips as they will not turn brown too quickly when left out.
Pineapple & watermelon skewers. Place them on the Himalayan rock salt.
Cheese wheel, topped with chocolate crisps and dried hibiscus flowers.
Blueberries in the 1st bowl.
Jam or Jelly in the 2nd bowl or pot.
Spreader cheese knife
and your... DONE!
This colorful summertime platter looks amazing poolside but if you don't have a pool - don't worry I've got you covered - pick up a light blue tablecloth or a table runner and place it underneath your platter, either way the blue will bring out the vibrant colors of all those fresh fruits. They will just POP!
Cranberry Soft Cheese
For this summertime platter, I wanted a light, soft cheese that would look lovey on my platter. As I was searching the cheese section of my local marketplace, I found a creamy, spreadable cranberry hand-rolled cheese wheel from France. I just loved the look of this cheese! Not only is the cheese filled with cranberries, it also has a pretty swirl pattern in the middle of it. It was the perfect centerpiece on top of my Himalayan rock salt block. If you are unable to find a round soft cheese wheel, no worries, you can purchase 2 cranberry cheese logs and place one on top of the other to create a beautiful look.
Spread cranberry soft cheese on an artisan cracker or French bread slice and enjoy it's lively flavor. A light cheese is perfect on a summer's day!
Just another idea... A Tropical Summertime Platter!
You can apply the same look, but give your platter a tropical feel. In this look, I used my large bamboo platter as a small table and prepared my fruits on a smaller bamboo platter and in a bamboo steamer. I love a bamboo steamer as a decorative holder for fruits. Not only will it add height to your presentation but on a summer day you can put the lid on top and cover your fruit from flies and other insects.
Be creative! Look around your house for platter ideas, like this bamboo steamer. You never know what will be the perfect platter for your next event.
*** if you want to see how I made my Topical Summertime Platter, don't forget to subscribe to my blog... I guarantee it will be a featured post!