November 7, 2016
Eat / recipes / Instant Platter

Instant Platter

platter featured

This epic platter has been my solution to the last minute party scramble for many years. A quick trip to your local grocery and you’ll hardly have to venture past the produce and deli section. I load up my cart with jars of peppers and cornichon, containers from the “olive bar” filled with artichokes and hot cherry peppers, sharp, hard cheese and a few cured meats. The trick is to make it look “bountiful” so that folks can really dive in. Serve with crusty bread like Howard’s or Carr’s crackers. Scroll down after video for a list of ingredients.




I use a bamboo platter from IKEA that I’ve had for eons but any large, round platter will do. I have two sizes — 12 “ and a whopping 30” — depends on the size of the crowd. The large is always a show-stopper and guests are always fawning all over it – discussing it and taking photos. The large one will run you around $80 for this cartful of components while the smaller, you can get away with about $45-$50.

The platter in the video contains the following. I left out the cheese because this particular party had lots already on the table. And it was a stormy night, so I didn’t include too many raw veggies:

roasted red peppers



hot cherry peppers

Kalamata olives

Tuscan olives

Mozzarella balls

artichoke hearts

cherry tomatoes

Sungold tomatoes

red & green grapes

rosemary sprigs


hard salami

baby pears


Some of the other ingredients that I often use for these platters:

preserved lemons


a whole bulb of roasted garlic roasted with olive oil

baby carrots

hard cheese like Fontinella or Asiago

a trio of goat cheese (I usually pick up at Trader Joes)



dried apricots


By Laura Williams



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