While some of my friends are of the belief that serving nothing more than a bowl of peanuts with cocktails is completely appropriate (they are of course the friends that don’t read my blog), I think that having something to graze on while sipping is always nice. It is rare that I ever cook anything when preparing a grazing platter. I typically buy a variety of bits at the store – olives, cured meats, cheese or a dip (assorted hummus to the left) and some bread or crackers. Arrange them on a large platter with some herbs or leaves from the garden (hydrangea or lemon leaves work well).
Of course, the key to a grazing platter is to provide enough food to soak up the booze but not so much that guests stay through the night and never want dinner!
But serving dry roasted peanuts with shocking quantities of liquor provides guests an excellent source of protein and fiber. So what if it’s not as (1) aesthetically pleasing, (2) tasty, or (3) satisfying as the “grazing platter”? You definitely don’t have to worry about people staying all night (unless they’ve passed out, in which case you don’t have to talk to them).
Love the post and the photo is gorgeous! Have you sent it in to Serious Eats?
Not yet, I need to get on that!