Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 627

28 1 DECEMBER 2022 with Martha Collison Food&Drink SCAN THI S CODE TO SHOP CHEESEBOARDS The cheeseboard has evolved in recent years, making room for grazing boards – all the joys of a cheeseboard, but with evenmore goodies. I’ve even seen people create grazing tables, covering every inchwith food (a step too far for me). This is a real treat – a celebration of cheese, curedmeats and fruits. It should look abundant, so the trick is to cover as much of the board as possible. You don’t need to spend a fortune, either. I’ve got tips and tricks for creating an impressive platter without breaking the bank. The recipe for my favourite seeded crackers is below – why not make a few batches and package some up as gifts for friends? Photographs: Sam Folan, Food styling: Jennifer Joyce, Styling: Wei Tang Makes 16 Prepare 20 minutes + chilling Cook 30 minutes 175g plain our, plus extra for rolling 1 tsp caster sugar ½ tsp ne salt 75g butter, cubed and chilled 125ml buttermilk 1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg, beaten 50g mixed seeds Sea salt akes, to sprinkle 1 Put the our, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and add the cubes of cold butter. Rub the butter into the our with your ngertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 2 Make a well in the centre of the our mixture and add the buttermilk. Stir well to form a soft dough, then wrap the dough thoroughly and chill for at least 1 hour (the dough will keep like this for up to 2 days). 3 When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Lightly dust the work surface with our, then roll the dough out thinly into a large rectangle. Transfer to a large, at baking sheet. Use your hands to stretch it, so it covers the entire tray. The Best 4 Brush the cracker dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the seeds and salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the tin around halfway to ensure a rich, golden brown bake all over. 5 Remove from the oven and immediately score into large triangles using a sharp knife (you don’t need to cut all the way through), then leave to cool completely. Break into shards and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or until ready to eat. V Per cracker 415kJ/99kcals/5.6g fat/2.8g saturated fat/9.5g carbs/0.8g sugars/0.5g bre/2.4g protein/0.2g salt Buttermilk crackers MARTHA’S STYLING TIPS Ru e and spread Create the illusion of abundance without needing a huge amount of food. Ru e pieces of cured meat or ham to ll more space, and slice cheese thinly and fan it out to cover the board. Large pieces of fruit sliced in half (think pomegranates, oranges or gs) also add great drama. Use di erent colours Pick fruits and chutneys in all the colours of the rainbow for a beautiful platter that keeps you interested. Pick cheeses that contrast too – Vintage Red Fox makes a statement next to a milky brie, for example. Mix up the shapes Choose cheeses that are shaped di erently, as they look spectacular when sliced and fanned out. A round cheese cut into segments, a wedge sliced into triangles and a curved Gouda will draw the eye and entice people in. Pick meats or fruits that are shaped di erently too. The cheese Essential Dutch Gouda Essential French Brie Long Clawson Stilton No.1 Vintage Red Fox Essential English Goat’s Cheese The meat Chorizo ring, thinly sliced Bresaola della Valtellini PGI Italian Napoli salami For the ultimate platter The fruit Figs, blackberries, pomegranates, dried apricots, medjool dates The savouries Nocellara olives, cocktail gherkins, seeded crackers The chutneys Nuts in honey (see right) No.1 Fig & Balsamic Relish Essential Mustard Piccalilli Nuts in honey This is one of my favourite, easy condiments to go with a cheeseboard. Toast some mixed nuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they smell nutty, then drizzle with plenty of clear honey before serving. Grazing board