Move aside cheese and charcuterie! Holiday hosting is upon us and if you’re looking for one easy, peasy way to wow your guests, it’s by creating the ultimate vesper board.
You may be wondering just what a vesper board is. Well, friends, let me spill! It’s a gourmet take on serving a variety of little snacks. The little snacks that you love, but for some reason don’t get much love on the typical charcuterie board. The rule is simple, fill the board, maximize every inch of space, and offer up delectable bites, dips, spreads, and other little delights. The idea is to not separate your sweet and savoury items on different trays and to provide a great balance of the both.
The vesper board is a great way to make guests feel comfortable since there is sure to be something everyone will love. Plus– it allows you, the host, more time to mingle with guests since you’re not worried about putting things out and making sure all the snack bowls are stocked.
Last weekend I took to making my own vesper board for a holiday party that I was hosting and my guests loved this new take on the charcuterie board! If you’re looking to make a board of your own here are four simple tips to get your imagination flowing!
“Think outside the classic charcuterie board box! You want it to scream, “Eat me!”
1. Save time with gourmet prepared foods – I love how easy it is to find quality prepared goods and ones that guests are sure to love at Summerhill Market. Hello, homemade miso edamame spread, deviled eggs, and smoked trout spread! They have so many different options that will, without a doubt, wow! The Swedish meatballs and homemade cheese balls from Summerhill Market were a guest favourite! I gravitate towards some prepared goods since it is so convenient! It saves you so much time, and you can always count on the food to be delicious. Between work and events, I don’t have hours to spend recipe testing in the kitchen, so that is super important for me!
2. Add in some basics – You don’t have to go all out with gourmet foods. Simple additions like apple slices dipped in honey almond butter (I love Justin’s!) with some nuts sprinkled on top, or blueberries and grapes are great add-ons. They allow everyone to really dabble and ignite the taste buds with fresh flavours. Crackers may be a staple, but the flavor possibilities are endless, and that is where you can stand out. Offer some gluten-free to accommodate all guests. Simple Mills is a great cracker to add to your board since it is gluten-free. I love the Rosemary and Sea Salt!
3. Contrast with flavour and colour – This is where I love to add sweet treats and play with in-season fruits and vegetables. Who says dessert comes after dinner? Adding something like gingerbread cookies or classic fruitcake will add the warmth and comfort to the board. I also like to use bright whole foods to really make the board pop. Think watermelon radishes, heirloom carrots, and tangerines. You can find tangerines with their stem on to add a bit of greenery to the board. The colour possibilities are endless!
4. Add garnishes. The food may be the showstopper, but the presentation is something that will enhance the look of the board. And I do love a good presentation! Don’t have any pinecones or flowers on hand? Not to worry! Step outside and clip a piece of evergreen or a branch! I love how something so simple can add such a festive flair! Now, how easy was that? Four steps to putting together a festive, fun and delicious vesper board. You don’t need to go over the top or make it look too pristine. And think outside the classic charcuterie board box! You want it to scream, “Eat me!” You tell me, what are you planning to add to your vesper board this holiday season?