• Big sharing platters are a wonderful way to feed your guests and tucking in together always seems to serve as an ice breaker of sorts. There’s something very satisfying about making a platter full of delicious bites from scratch, but if you’re pressed for time, you can easily buy gherkins and hummus instead of making your own. 

    Festive antipasti sharing platter

    Serves: 4 – 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr + 30 mins, to firm up



    • 250g red grapes
    • good quality olive oil, to drizzle
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 10ml (2 tsp) fresh rosemary
    • 5ml (1 tsp) fresh thyme leaves

    • 2 x 100g logs Chevin goat’s cheese
    • 50g roasted and salted pistachios, finely chopped

    • 160ml white malt vinegar
    • 100g sugar
    • 5ml (1 tsp) fennel seeds
    • 5ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
    • 5ml (1 tsp) coriander seeds
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) salt
    • 1 cinnamon quill
    • 7 baby cucumbers

    • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) tahini
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • 1 pickled beetroot

    • 1 x 400g tin artichoke hearts, quartered
    • olive oil, to drizzle
    • TO SERVE

    • marinated pitted green olives
    • capers
    • Kalamata olives
    • sweet piquanté peppers
    • 200g oak-smoked trout ribbons
    • cream cheese
    • 150g fresh buffalo mozzarella/ fior di latte ball
    • fresh dill, roughly chopped
    • fresh mint sprigs
    • warm crusty bread
    • butter, at room temperature



    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the grapes in a roasting tray and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Season to taste, then sprinkle with the herbs and pop in the oven to roast, 30 minutes, until wrinkled.


    While the grapes roast, make the goat’s cheese truffles. Place the logs of Chevin on a chopping board and divide each log into 8 – 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a 2cm-sized ball (rub your hands with a little olive oil to stop the goat’s cheese from sticking to them). Roll the balls in the chopped pistachio nuts to coat the outside of the truffles (slightly pressing the nuts onto the outside of the truffles). Arrange on a tray and refrigerate to firm up, at least 30 minutes. You can make these 2 days ahead and store in a sealed container in the fridge.


    Make the pickled cucumber by adding all of the ingredients, except the baby cucumbers, to a small pot. Bring to a boil, add the cucumbers and boil, a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat and chill the pickled cucumbers before serving.


    For the hummus, add all of the ingredients, except the beetroot, to a blender and blitz until smooth, adding a little more olive oil, if needed. Have a taste and add more seasoning, if needed. Scoop the hummus out of the blender, reserving about 3 tablespoons of hummus in the blender and add to a serving bowl. Without washing the blender, add the beetroot and blitz until smooth. Swirl the beetroot on top of the hummus.


    For the chargrilled artichokes, toss a drizzle of olive oil through the artichoke hearts. Heat a griddle pan over high heat and chargrill the artichokes, about 2 minutes per side.


    To assemble your platter, start by adding your pickles to a bowl, and add green olives, capers and a drizzle of olive oil. Add Kalamata olives to a small bowl. Place your bowl of hummus, pickles and olives on a large serving platter. In one corner, add the goat’s cheese truffles and in another corner the piquanté peppers. In another area add the trout, by forming the ribbons into roses and scattering over some capers and dollops of cream cheese. Add the artichokes to the platter, followed by the buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte ball and drizzle with olive oil. Pour a little good-quality olive oil over the platter, if necessary, and sprinkle with the fresh dill and mint sprigs. Serve with warm crusty bread and soft butter.

    Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi

    Photograph by Dylan Swart  

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com