Kitchen Tips

How to build the perfect vegetarian party platter

There's an art to building the perfect platter! NADIA magazine shares their most delicious recipes for creating a tasty, vegetarian-friendly grazing platter, just in time for your next party.

Creating a tempting vegetarian platter no doubt takes more thought and imagination than those laden with cured meats and seafood. Luckily, these recipes are quick to make, easy to execute and rely on simple every day ingredients. They also manage to tick gluten and dairy-free boxes, so they're perfect for sharing with gluten-intolerant and vegan friends.
Once you've finished whipping up these lipsmacking snacks, try laying them out on a large platter or chopping board, along with a variety of fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables (think baby carrots, radishes, snow peas and cucumber batons), plus any bread or gluten-free crackers you desire.

Mini vegetable skewers with lemon and rosemary oil

Ready in 20 minutes | Makes 12 | Dairy-Free | Gluten-Free
½ eggplant
1 courgette
½ red onion
6 button mushrooms
2 differently coloured capsicums
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp roughly chopped rosemary leaves
  1. Cut vegetables into bite-sized dice and thread onto 12 mini wooden skewers, alternating the veges as you go.
  2. Combine oil, zest, garlic and rosemary and mix well. Brush skewers with half the flavoured oil and barbecue or pan-fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Brush with remaining oil and continue to cook until tender and coloured.
Tip: Soak skewers in water for around 20 minutes before threading to avoid them burning in the pan.

Quick bean dip with baked haloumi

Ready in 20 minutes | Makes about 1½ cups | Gluten-Free
2 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can mild chilli beans
½ tsp smoked paprika
Sweet chilli sauce
block haloumi cheese
Optional garnishes: sliced fresh red chilli, chopped parsley or coriander
  1. Heat oil in a shallow pan and sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and softened. Stir in beans with their sauce, smoked paprika and sweet chilli sauce to taste. Whizz or mash bean mixture to a dipping consistency. Spoon into an ovenproof serving dish.
  2. Slice or dice haloumi and arrange on top of bean mixture. Grill for 5-6 minutes or until haloumi is golden and beans are bubbling. Garnish with sliced red chilli and chopped herbs, if desired. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

Homemade spiced kumara hummus

Ready in 10 minutes | Makes about 2 cups | Dairy-Free | Gluten-Free
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup mashed roasted or steamed golden kumara
2 Tbsp tahini paste
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
Juice 1 lemon
Olive oil
Cumin seeds and toasted pine nuts, to garnish
  1. Whizz all ingredients (except garnish) together, adding a dash of oil last to make the hummus spreadable. Season to taste with salt and extra lemon juice if needed.
  2. Serve topped with cumin seeds, toasted pine nuts and a swirl of olive oil, with baby carrots, radishes, snow peas and crackers for dipping.
Recipes by: Jo Wilcox.
Photography by: Vanessa Lewis.