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All on Board

Go ahead, invite people over. Our ready-to-host soirées are wow-worthy and delicious—and easy to pull off, we promise. Read on for recipes, chef’s tips, ta-da presentation tricks and shortcuts. Who’s going to have fun at this party? You

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All on Board
There’s a magic hour at the start of every great party—a feeling of fun in the air as everyone catches up over sips and nibbles. What if that relaxed vibe carried through the night? Encourage guests to mix and mingle over this communal, grazing-style meal that features a trio of abundant boards—crudité, cheese and spring radish. Variety of color, texture and flavor are key, as is a stash of natural slate boards.

Bring on the vino.

Glasses of red and white wine next to a wine bottle in an ice mold

Rosé Champagne, Chablis, Pinot Noir
Crisp, lighter-bodied wines are the perfect accompaniment to fresh vegetables. The delicacy of rose Champagne, crisp acidity of Chablis, and balanced earthiness of Pinot Noir complement the flavors of these boards perfectly. Serve any or all of these wines as aperitifs to a meal or as the centerpiece of a cocktail hour.

Party Tip: Plan for 1.5 drinks per person/per hour for up to 3 hours.

Love your veggies.

Veggie board with carrots, green beans and radishes along with dips and flavored salts on the side

A big, bountiful crudité board is a prime chance to let spring vegetables shine. It celebrates raw ingredients and artisanal products (read: no cooking) and can easily be elevated with simple garnishes and condiments. Incorporate seasonal lettuces, herbs and edible flowers to add eye-popping variety to your presentation, and use clear jars filled with bright produce to literally put your veggies on another level–making for a striking display and an easy way for guests to grab what they want.

Party Tip: Leaving vegetable tops on has advantages: they give guests something to hold onto when eating, and they go a long way toward a rustic, natural look. Simply wash before serving.

Chef’s Tip: A classic crudité platter consists of raw vegetables. Break with tradition and mix in blanched, grilled and pickled vegetables for a more dynamic spread.

Crudité board ideas:

  • Sugar snap peas, blanched
  • Green string beans, blanched
  • Heirloom carrots
  • Baby cauliflower
  • Spring lettuces
  • Micro watercress
  • Baby zucchini
  • Baby squash
  • Fennel, raw
  • Edible flowers (violets, marigolds or lavender)
  • Cucumber blossoms
  • Pickled haricot verts (see Quick Pickling Liquid)
  • Pickled cauliflower, cut into florets (see Quick Pickling Liquid)
  • Pickled fennel, cut into wedges ( see Quick Pickling Liquid)

Chef's Tip: Stash any leftover fresh vegetables in your refrigerator or freezer to be cooked at a later date.

Take a refreshing dip.

Selection of dips for a vegetable crudite board

An interesting selection of dips rounds out the flavor profile of your crudité platter and gives your guests plenty of options. Even better, they’re easy to prep and plan whether you choose to make them from scratch or take your favorite grocery store versions and enhance them with our chef’s tips.

Chef’s Tip: It’s OK to be playful with food. Our pumpernickel breadcrumb “dirt” is a perfect example—it’s a presentation idea that’s sure to make your guests smile.

Veggies displayed in edible dirt dip in long glass vase

Dress up the cheese.

Slicing vegetables on a mandoline to make a goat cheese log

When creating a cheeseboard, think about seasonality and texture. Go for a mixture of fresh young cheese, aged hard cheese, soft spreadable cheese, blue cheese and bloomy rind. Plan for 4 to 6 ounces of cheese per person, and serve a minimum assortment of 4 cheese varieties.

Chef’s Tip: Don’t crowd the items on your cheeseboard. Leave plenty of space between cheeses and condiments for guests to see the options and navigate.

Party Tip: Use chalkboard or ceramic markers to identify each cheese’s origin, description, milk type and whether it’s raw or pasteurized—or add your own playful tasting notes.

Chef’s Tip: Serve cheese at room temperature for the best flavor, setting it out at least two hours before guests arrive.

We recommend:

Party Tip: Short on time? Pick up imported Italian Stracciatella at your favorite cheese shop.

Be generous with condiments.

Cheese board with fruit, honey and crackers

Aim for equal amounts of cheese and condiments on your board. A few staples we love are honeycomb, fruit, jam and salty nuts. But the more the merrier—this is your chance to use ingredients already in your refrigerator.

We recommend:

  • Red grapes
  • Strawberry or apple jam
  • Baby apples
  • Caramelized nuts
  • Honeycomb
  • Caramelized ginger
  • Mustard

Chef's Tip: Elevate your condiments with easy upgrades. Purchase nuts and sprinkle them with chopped rosemary, orange zest or fennel seed. Sprinkle chili over honey for a subtle spice.

Party Tip: Cut grapes into small clusters so that guests can take a few bunches rather than struggle to pull individual grapes off; this will also keep the display looking bountiful throughout the party.

We also recommend incorporating a selection of breads and crackers into your presentation, including:

  • Baguette
  • Crackers
  • Toasts
  • Raisin Walnut Bread
  • Breadsticks

Party Tip: Offer a variety of shapes, sizes, textures, toasted and non-toasted bread and cracker options. Breadsticks are great for adding height to the presentation.

Get to the root of springtime.

Radishes dipped in butter and salt on black slate cheese board

Radishes with butter and salt are a wonderful light alternative to bread and butter. It’s an elegant French tradition that celebrates one of the first spring vegetables to sprout after a long winter. The crisp, peppery freshness of the radish pairs perfectly with the rich fat of the butter, and the salt marries them together.

Chef’s Tip: To preserve their natural crispness, soak radishes with their tops on in cold water in your refrigerator, covered in a damp towel. Dry just before serving. Plan for 3 to 4 radishes per person.

Chef’s Tip: Make your own flavored butter by whipping room-temperature butter in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and folding in various ingredients like homemade herb pesto, red bell pepper purée, honey, fruit preserve or salt. We love grey and Maldon salts for their brininess and flavor.

Chef’s Tip: Make butter roses for a striking presentation. Freeze a one-pound block of butter and use a vegetable peeler to create butter roses. Arrange the roses upright in concentric circles on a bed of salt.

Find more CrateParty menus in the entertaining section of our blog, plus find everything you need to host on crateandbarrel.com.

Print Recipe
Quick Pickling Liquid
Votes: 2
Rating: 3.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig tarragon
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig tarragon
Votes: 2
Rating: 3.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, water, salt and tarragon, and bring to boil. Fill jar with any vegetable you wish to pickle and pour pickling liquid over them. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Print Recipe
Spring Onion Dip
Votes: 8
Rating: 4.88
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Sliced scallion or micro greens for garnish
  • Chives finely chopped, for garnish
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Sliced scallion or micro greens for garnish
  • Chives finely chopped, for garnish
Votes: 8
Rating: 4.88
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In fry pan, heat olive oil over medium heat; sauté onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside to cool. Transfer onion and garlic to small mixing bowl.
  2. Once cool, add sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice to onion-garlic mixture; stir to combine.
  3. Spoon dip into serving bowl and garnish with micro scallion and chives. Drizzle with olive oil.

Print Recipe
Sweet Pea Pistachio Hummus
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw sweet peas shelled
  • 1/4 cup pistachios toasted, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw sweet peas shelled
  • 1/4 cup pistachios toasted, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Place small saucepan filled with water over high heat. Bring water to boil; add peas and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and place peas in bowl of ice water, until cold to touch.
  2. Drain peas and place in blender. Add pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice and tarragon in blender; blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with extra pistachios, drizzle with olive oil and add tarragon garnish.

Print Recipe
Wasabi Pea Salt
Votes: 5
Rating: 3.8
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup wasabi peas
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup wasabi peas
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
Votes: 5
Rating: 3.8
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Process wasabi peas in food processor for about 15 seconds, until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
  2. Combine peas with sea salt. Store in an airtight container.

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Salted (Pumpernickel) Dirt
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
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Rate this recipe!
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 6 slices day-old pumpernickel bread coarsely torn
  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 6 slices day-old pumpernickel bread coarsely torn
  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Process torn bread in food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Spread ground bread onto baking sheet; bake until crunchy, 5–7 minutes. Season to taste with pretzel salt. Store in an airtight container.

Print Recipe
Homemade Stracciatella
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • sea salt to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Edible white flowers for garnish
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • sea salt to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Edible white flowers for garnish
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Hand shred mozzarella. In small bowl, mix cheese with heavy cream and yogurt. Season with sea salt, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with flowers.

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Goat Cheese Log
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 10-ounce goat cheese log
  • 1 baby radish very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby carrot very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby zucchini very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby squash very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • Chives chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Edible flowers (e.g. violets, marigolds, lavender)
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 10-ounce goat cheese log
  • 1 baby radish very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby carrot very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby zucchini very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • 1 baby squash very thinly sliced on mandoline
  • Chives chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Edible flowers (e.g. violets, marigolds, lavender)
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Lay plastic wrap on board and place goat cheese log in center. Arrange sliced radishes, carrots, zucchini, squash, chives and edible flowers over goat cheese log. Lift plastic wrap from board to wrap cheese log, securing sides. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Print Recipe
Vadouvan Butter Radish with Roasted Sesame Salt
Votes: 4
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
For the roasted sesame salt
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
For the radishes
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vadouvan curry spice
  • 2 bunches of radish such as French Breakfast or Easter Egg cut some in half, quarter some, leave some whole
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
For the roasted sesame salt
  • 1/4 cup white sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
For the radishes
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vadouvan curry spice
  • 2 bunches of radish such as French Breakfast or Easter Egg cut some in half, quarter some, leave some whole
Votes: 4
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
For the roasted sesame salt:
  1. In small bowl, mix white and black sesame seeds and sea salt. Set aside.
For the radishes:
  1. In small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in vadouvan spice until emulsified, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. Dip radishes in vadouvan butter and lay on baking sheet to set. Serve on bed of roasted sesame salt.

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