Cancel the usual chip bowls, forget hours of menu planning, and step away from the expensive catering. This Super Bowl hosting hack is all about supersized snacking boards. Enter: The grazing board.
Overflowing with seasonal produce, artisanal proteins, crunchy snacks, and mouthwatering dips, a grazing board is as practical as it is picture-perfect. So, fire up your Instagram for #grazingboard inspiration and pour a glass of Tempranillo because it’s time to gather the goods for your very own Big Game Grazing Board.
How to make a Big Game Grazing Board for your Super Bowl party:
1. The Board
To create an epic graze board for your game day soirée you’ll need, well, a party-sized board. Though, the style and exact size of the board is totally up to you. Perhaps you can finally use that football-shaped cutting board your in-laws gifted you, maybe you have a go-to marble cheese board to build on, or you might even create multiple boards and display them together. Regardless of what board you choose, think of it as your blank canvas.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a large board (or any for that matter), there’s nothing wrong with scooping a big piece of plywood from the craft store or utilizing an array of your trusty cutting boards. When all is said and done, we’re basically covering every centimeter of this platter, so don’t stress the foundation too much.
2. The Cheese
Like any crowd-favorite dish at a party, there’s typically a fair amount of cheese anchoring a grazing board. And with so many cheesy options to choose from, it’s easy to get a little something for everyone. We recommend starting off with the big four: A hard cheese, a softer white cheese, a mild semi-hard cheese, and a stronger flavored cheese. This will make it easier to pair spreads and crackers with your various dairy selections. Plus! You can find alternative cheeses for your non-dairy pals at most supermarkets and specialty stores.
Pro Tip: When building your board, add your cheeses first! You’ll want to start with the ingredients that take up the most real estate before adding the smaller snacks for an easy build. Worried about sweat? (No, not from watching the big game) Take your cheese out of the fridge an hour before serving and cover with a damp towel to avoid a platter full of sweaty or dried cheese. For longer parties, — ahem, four hours of football — pick up a few blocks of back-up cheese to replenish your board.
3. The Protein
No hosting fumbles here! Stave off hangry guests with a pop of protein on your big game grazing board. The trick to choosing the right options is to provide a few different options. From hard salami to prosciutto to vegan meat-alternatives, adding these heavier ingredients will keep your crowd fueled up all day. For the freshest flavors, experts suggest asking the deli counter to thinly slice your selections in lieu of pre-sliced and packaged meats.
Pro Tip: Mix up how you display each protein option so that they look appealing and command a good amount of space on the board. Fold the softer meats, like salami, in half and stack each half on top of one another in a row. Place the soft, shapeless meats like prosciutto in an imperfectly-planned pile towards the center of the spread. Harder options like cured meats or vegan sausages will sit perfectly near the edge of your board.
4. The Crackers & Dips
As the gridiron heats up, guests may be looking for something with a little crunch to help take the edge off. Welcome to the crackers and dips section. When it comes to selecting the crispy cheese and dip vessels, quality is key. While saltine crackers are a good standby, seeded crackers or pita chips will elevate the board overall. DIY dips are a surprisingly easy way to surprise and delight your guests with a simple homemade hummus or classic buffalo dip. If you’re going the store bought route (no judgment, we’re right there with you), scoop your dip into a small bowl or mason jar before adding it to your grazing board.
Pro Tip: Add in more options such as toasted baguette slices, pre-made crostinis, or naan slices so your guests can create their own snacking masterpieces. What’s more? Crackers and dips are great for filling holes on your board, so keep extra on-hand for replenishing purposes.
5. The Fresh Stuff
Fruits and veggies tie it all together — be it flavor creativity, color aesthetic, or just whatever will go best with your Super Bowl theme. For optimal color and flavor, keep it fresh. Buy in-season produce from your local farmer’s market or supermarket, then slice and dice your pickings yourself to avoid limp veggies on gameday.
Pro Tip: Use the fresh stuff to decorate your platter with flavor. Place some pickle/gherkins in a small bowl on the plate to disrupt the pattern. Sprinkle nuts and/or raisins in easy-to-pick piles. Stack sliced cucumbers and drop in dried apricots for a Chef-approved grazing board. Besides, you’re basically a professional chef now anyway.
6. The Final Touches
Round out your supersized snacking board with a few football-friendly extras. Whether it’s touchdown toothpicks or perfectly placed jalapeño poppers, these final touches will make your grazing board the MVP of the snack table.
Ready to keep the DIY fun coming? Add a line-up of your favorite drinks for guests to choose from! To match the array of flavors on your grazing board, offer guests a selection of vino along with the usual suspects for the big game. Our soft and fresh Tempranillo with hints of red fruit and notes of vanilla will pair beautifully with meats, cheeses, and veggies. Looking for something lighter? Go for a smooth bubbly, such as the Cava Brut Reserva, to refresh palates during the snack-a-thon. And if you want to go the extra mile, stir up a themed signature cocktail that’s primed for a party like the Rosé For Days Punch.
For more game day tricks and wine-drinking tips, follow us on Instagram! Plus, tag us on social with #CampoViejo to show off your big game grazing boards